Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates became visibly uncomfortable when a reporter confronted him about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
ABC Australia reporter Sarah Ferguson asked Gates in an interview that aired Monday whether he feels "regret" for having "maintained" a relationship with Epstein "despite Melinda's advice and wishes," referring to his ex-wife Melinda French Gates.
Gates, clearly uncomfortable and annoyed with the question, admitted that he does.
"I said that I'm— this is going way back in time, but yeah I will say for the over 100th time, yeah I shouldn't have had dinners with him," Gates said.
Despite his reticence, Ferguson pushed the issue farther. Noting that "Epstein had a way of sexually compromising people," she asked whether Melinda had warned Gates about putting himself in such a position.
"No, I mean its—" Gates responded before taking a brief pause. "No. I had dinner with him and that's all."
When Ferguson asked whether Gates regretted any connection between Epstein and his charitable efforts, Gates denied that any such relationship had existed.
The New York Times, however, alleged in an infamous 2019 story that Gates and Epstein did maintain some type of relationship.
In fact, beginning in 2011, Mr. Gates met with Mr. Epstein on numerous occasions — including at least three times at Mr. Epstein’s palatial Manhattan townhouse, and at least once staying late into the night, according to interviews with more than a dozen people familiar with the relationship, as well as documents reviewed by The New York Times.
Gates has denied being Epstein's friend. Last year, he said that meeting with Epstein was a "huge mistake."
What has Melinda said?
Melinda Gates admitted in an interview that she had once met Epstein, whom she described as "evil personified," and said she repeatedly warned Gates about meeting with him.
"I did not like that [Bill] had meetings with Jeffrey Epstein," she said. "I made that clear to him. I also met Jeffrey Epstein exactly one time. I wanted to see who this man was, and I regretted it from the second I stepped in the door."
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