For Gates it is "a time for reflection"
Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP
Microsoft founder Bill Gates (65) has described his meeting with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in prison in 2019, as a "big mistake".
"It was a big mistake to hang out with him and thereby give him credibility," Gates told CNN.
The reason for the meeting was his wish to collect donations for charity.
He had had "several dinners" with Epstein, because he had hoped to raise further donations for his projects through his contacts.
When he realized it wasn't going to work, "that relationship was over," Gates said.
Gates and his wife Melinda announced in May that they wanted to divorce after 27 years of marriage - the divorce is now sealed.
The couple have three children of legal age - Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe.
For the time being, Bill and Melinda Gates want to continue the joint work of the influential Gates Foundation.
This is one of the world's most important donors in the field of health care and development cooperation.
"It is a time for reflection," said Gates, who founded the future IT giant Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975 and is considered one of the richest people in the world, to CNN. "In the family we will heal as best we can." He hopes Melinda will remain part of the foundation. "That would definitely be the best thing for the foundation."
The financial investor Epstein, convicted of sex crimes, was found dead in his prison cell in 2019 after his new arrest for molesting minors, according to official information he had committed suicide.
Investigators accused him of sexually abusing underage girls and young women and forcing them into prostitution for years.
Epstein had good contacts with numerous politicians and celebrities, including the British Prince Andrew and the ex-presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.
kim / dpa / AFP