Microsoft co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates has repeatedly said he regrets ever interacting with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. In a recent interview on ABC Australia's 7.30, a current affairs program, he downplayed his ties to the financier, who reportedly died by suicide in jail in 2019.
"I will say for the, you know, over hundredth time, yeah I shouldn't have had dinners with him," Gates said.
What To Know: The live TV interview on ABC Australia went viral. Several users across social platforms like Twitter highlighted the way Gates downplayed the relationship.
ABC host Sarah Ferguson continued to press the billionaire philanthropist with questions about his relationship with Epstein, even after he noted that he had answered similar questions numerous times.
"Epstein had a way of sexually compromising people. Is that what Melinda was warning you about?" Ferguson asked.
"No, I mean ... no I had dinner with him and that’s all," Gates said.
See Also: Bill Gates Says It Would Be 'Much Better To Be Born 20 Years From Now' Than Any Time In Past
Ferguson then went on to ask Gates to confirm that he regretted the "relationship" or "acquaintance" and he replied that he regretted having "dinner with him," suggesting a relationship didn't exist beyond a few dinner dates.
When the ABC anchor mentioned potential ties between Epstein and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he adamantly denied it.
"There never was any relationship of any kind," he said.
In a 2019 interview with CNN, Gates explained that he only met with Epstein to try to secure funding to help fight global health issues.
"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 said.
How About This: Why Bill Gates Sees China's Rise As 'Huge Win For The World,' Opposes US Hawkish 'Lose-Lose Mentality'
Epstein was indicted in July 2019 on charges of operating a sex trafficking ring that resulted in the sexual abuse of several underage girls. He was found dead in a New York City jail cell one month later, which was ultimately ruled a suicide.
There are several conspiracy theories about what happened in Epstein's final moments. Despite having died nearly four years ago, the ghost of Epstein still finds a way to make eerie headlines to this day.
Originally published on Jan. 30, 2023
Photo: courtesy of common.wikimedia.org
© 2023 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.