Bill Gates
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
May 12, 2024 ·  4 min read

Bill Gates: ‘Huge Mistake’ to Meet with Jeffrey Epstein

A lot has come out after Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce last year. The end of a high-profile, 27-year-long marriage is, of course, big news. One of the topics that interviewers continue to ask both parties is the meetings Bill Gates had with the late financier and child sex offender Jeffery Epstein. Bill has since come out saying that these meetings were a “huge mistake” that he regretted greatly. 

Bill Gates Greatly Regrets His Meetings With Jeffery Epstein

By the time Bill Gates had his handful of dinners and meetings with Jeffery Epstein, he had already been to jail once for child sex offenses. Later, after these meetings had already happened, the news broke about just how grave Epstein’s child sex trafficking crimes were. 

After Epstein’s death in prison and the numerous op-eds and documentaries that came out explaining all that he had done, there was a lot of fall-out. Many famous people’s relations with him and/affiliations came to light. One of those was the meetings that Bill Gates held with him. 

Gates says that these dinners were purely business. Epstein had promised him he could find him billions of dollars for various philanthropic pursuits. When it became apparent that Epstein’s promises were empty, Gates stopped meeting with him. (1)

Of course, no matter the intentions of those meetings, the public was not very happy with Gates when they found out. His ex-wife, Melinda, also publicly spoke about her opinions on the meetings last month for the first time. She, too, was not happy about them, and even stated that they were one of the various points of contention that lead to the demise of their marriage.

It Was Business, Not Friendship

Naturally, all of this talk of his meetings meant that journalists and interviewers have been questioning the billionaire quite frequently about them. This has forced Gates to speak publicly about his dealings with Epstein and also, at least somewhat, apologize.

For starters, Bill has set a few things straight. He shut down rumors that he was a friend of the infamous criminal. Gates has explained several times now that he and Epstein were not friends. As already mentioned, Epstein reached out to Gates about money for some of Gates’ 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. When it looked like that wasn’t a real thing, that relationship ended.” Gates explained.

Read: Elon Musk Rejects Bill Gate’s Request To Discuss Philanthropy, New Leaked Texts Reveal

The Regret

Bill Gates has stated a number of times now how much he regrets the meetings he had with Epstein. Particularly considering at the time the man had already been in jail for child sex offenses. Recently, he has also stated that he recognizes now how his actions, though well-intentioned, were in the end a bad idea. He has called it a “huge mistake”.

“at the time, I didn’t realize that by having those meetings it would be seen as giving him credibility.” he told The Sunday Times. “You’re almost saying, I forgive that type of behavior, or something.So clearly the way it’s seen, I made a huge mistake not understanding that.”

He confirmed that statement again with CNN.

“It was a huge mistake to spend time with him, to give him the credibility of being there,” he reiterated.

The Fallout of His Marriage

When asked about whether or not he believes that his relations with Epstein had a role to play in the disintegration of his marriage, he did not give quite as direct an answer as Melinda did.

“It’s a time of reflection, and at this point, I need to go forward,” Gates told CNN. “Within the family, we’ll heal the best that we can.” 

It is still unclear as to whether or not Bill and Melinda Gates will continue to work on the foundation that they started together, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, or no. If Melinda chooses to leave, Bill will pay her out of her part. He has said, however, that he hopes she will stay.

“That would definitely be the best thing for the foundation,” Gates said of his ex-wife. “Melinda has incredible strengths that she brings that help the foundation be better.”

Keep Reading: What Bill Gates is ‘most worried about’


  1. Bill Gates: ‘I’m grieving the same way Melinda is’.” The Times. May 01, 2022
  2. Bill Gates says he ‘made a huge mistake’ meeting with Jeffrey Epstein for fundraising dinners promoting the Gates Foundation.” Business Insider. Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert. May 1, 2022.
  3. Bill Gates says he regrets the time spent with Jeffrey Epstein: ‘It was a huge mistake’.” CNN. Andy Rose. August 5, 2021.