Melinda French Gates has opened up about her divorce from Bill Gates and the role his relationship with disgraced sex offender Jeffrey Epstein played in it.
In an interview with CBS This Morning, French Gates was asked about her ex-husband's multiple meetings with Epstein and whether this played a role in their divorce. She said "many things" led to their marriage ending but that she did not approve of these meetings.
"I did not like that he'd had meetings with Jeffrey Epstein, no" she said. "I made that clear to him."
According to The New York Times, Bill Gates met with Epstein "many times," and he "started the relationship after Mr. Epstein was convicted of sex crimes." In an interview last year, the Microsoft founder said his meetings with Epstein were "a mistake." When asked what lessons can be learned from this mistake, Gates said, "Well, he's dead."
French Gates told CBS This Morning she also met with Epstein once because she "wanted to see who this man was," but she says she "regretted" it immediately.
"He was abhorrent," she said. "He was evil personified. I had nightmares about it afterward. So my heart breaks for these young women."
French Gates said further questions about Epstein are "for Bill to answer," but she reiterated that "I made it very clear how I felt about him." In 2021, The Wall Street Journal reported that Gates' business dealings with Epstein were a "source of concern for her that contributed to the divorce."
After the divorce announcement, Bill Gates admitted to an extramarital affair. Asked about this affair, French Gates told CBS This Morning she believes in "forgiveness" and "it wasn't one moment" that led to the divorce but "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."