Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates on Wednesday said he “made a mistake” meeting with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, reports NBC News.
Epstein was found dead in August an apparent suicide in the New York jail cell where he was being held without bail on sex-trafficking charges. The well-connected money manager was dogged for years by allegations that he sexually abused young girls and women.
Gates, according to the New York Times, started the relationship with Epstein after he was convicted of the sex crimes. He didn’t partner with him, though.
“His lifestyle is very different and kind of intriguing although it would not work for me,” Gates emailed colleagues in 2011 after his first get-together with Epstein, per the Times.
Bridgitt Arnold, a spokeswoman for Gates, said he “was referring only to the unique décor of the Epstein residence — and Epstein’s habit of spontaneously bringing acquaintances in to meet Mr. Gates. “It was in no way meant to convey a sense of interest or approval,” she added.
Gates during an appearance at the New York Times Dealbook Conference in New York said he thought the relationship would bring in billions of dollars for his global health efforts.
But “that was a mirage,” Gates said. “None of that money ever appeared, and I gave him some benefit by the association, so I made a doubly wrong mistake there.”