The ex-wife of tech mogul Bill Gates said in an interview that aired Thursday that her ex-husband’s relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was one of the multiple causes of their divorce.
“It was many things. But I did not like that he’d had meetings with Jeffrey Epstein,” Melinda French Gates said in the interview with Gayle King of “CBS Mornings.”
“I also met Jeffrey Epstein exactly one time. Because I wanted to see who this man was, and I regretted it from the second I stepped in the door,” she said.
“He was abhorrent. He was evil personified. I had nightmares about it afterwards, actually,” she said. “So, my heart breaks for these young women, because that’s how I felt? And here I’m an older woman? My God, I feel terrible for those young women. It’s awful.”
The full interview is below:
Gates has acknowledged meeting Epstein but pushed back against some media accounts that sought to plumb the depths of the Gates-Epstein friendship. His former wife refused to offer her take on the friendship.
“Any of the questions remaining about what Bill’s relationship with him was … Those are for Bill to answer. But I made it very clear how I felt about him,” she said, according to the Daily Mail.
King also asked about a reported affair Gates had in 2000, according to CBS.
“I certainly believe in forgiveness, so I thought we had worked through some of that,” French Gates said. “It wasn’t one moment or one specific thing that happened. There just came a point in time where there was enough there that I realized it just wasn’t healthy, and I couldn’t trust what we had.”
During the interview, she said grief and anger were part of the post-divorce process.
“I mean, this is painful stuff,” she continued. “But at the end of the day though, I started on this journey of healing, and I feel like I’m starting to get to the other side. And I do feel like I’m turning a page in the chapter now. I mean, it’s 2022 and I’m actually really excited about what’s to come and life ahead for me.”
In another part of the interview, said she can work with her ex-husband.
“We certainly have a working relationship. I would say we’re friendly at this point.”
“Friends?” King prompted?
“‘Friends’ is a different word for me,” French Gates said. “That might come over time, but for me, there is still healing that needs to happen.”
“I wish him well. I don’t wish him harm. I think we have a productive working relationship and I think that will continue.”
After airing the interview, King said CBS had received a statement from Bill Gates that said:
“Meeting with Epstein was a mistake that I regret deeply. It was a substantial error in judgment. I remain dedicated to my work at the Gates Foundation, in partnership with Melinda, where our focus is to help reduce global inequities, giving every person a chance to live a healthy and productive life.”
In September, Gates also framed his dalliance with Epstein’s circle of friends as a “mistake.”
“It was a huge mistake to spend time with him, to give him the credibility of being there,” Gates said during an interview with CNN
Gates said that connecting with Epstein, who was facing accusations of sex trafficking when he died in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019, was a high-minded attempt to secure funding for his health care projects.
“I had several dinners with him, you know, hoping that what he said about getting billions of philanthropy for global health through contacts that he had might emerge,” Gates said.
In an October 2019 report, The New York Times quoted what it said was a Gates email to colleagues in 2011 as saying Epstein’s “lifestyle is very different and kind of intriguing although it would not work for me.”
A 2021 report by The Daily Beast, based entirely on unnamed sources, claimed that Epstein offered Gates advice about getting out of his marriage and said Gates reveled in gatherings hosted by Epstein.
“Gates found freedom in Epstein’s lair, where he met a rotating cast of bold-faced names and discussed worldly issues in between rounds of jokes and gossip,” the report said, calling it a “’men’s club’ atmosphere that irritated Melinda.”
The report characterized the tech guru’s attendance at Epstein’s events as a form of seeking refuge from his wife, and also to spite her.
“‘[It’s] not an overstatement. Going to Jeffrey’s was a respite from his marriage. It was a way of getting away from Melinda,” the report quoted a source it says was “one of the people who was at several of the meetings” as saying. The source called Epstein and Gates “very close.”
A statement from a Gates spokesman poured cold water on the Daily Beast report.
“Your characterization of his meetings with Epstein and others about philanthropy is inaccurate, including who participated. Similarly, any claim that Gates spoke of his marriage or Melinda in a disparaging manner is false,” the statement said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.