Melinda French Gates, who recently divorced Bill Gates, said that her relationship with the billionaire was strained due to his friendship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. She says that his connections to Epstein were a factor in their divorce.
Speaking in an interview on Thursday with CBS This Morning, French Gates said that she “made clear to him” that she did not like his meetings with Epstein.
“I did not like that he had meetings with Jeffrey Epstein, no. I made that clear to him,” said French Gates, noting that she met Epstein “exactly one time” because she “wanted to see who this man was.”
“I regretted it the second I walked in the door,” she said. “He was abhorrent. He was evil personified. … My heart breaks for these women. That’s how I felt, and I am an older woman. … He was awful.”
In a statement to CBS, the Microsoft co-founder said his relationship with Epstein was a “mistake.”
“Meeting with Epstein was a mistake that I regret deeply,” said Gates. “It was a substantial error in judgment.”
French Gates also spoke of the alleged affair her husband had with one of his employees, saying she thought they had gotten through it before the divorce, noting that she believes “in forgiveness.”
“I certainly believe in forgiveness, so I thought we had worked through some of that,” she said. “It wasn’t one moment or one specific thing that happened. There just came a point in time where there was enough there where I realized it just wasn’t healthy, and I couldn’t trust what we had.”
Asked if Bill Gates had numerous affairs during their marriage, she replied to say that “those are questions Bill needs to answer.”
French Gates said that she “gave every single piece of myself to this marriage. I was committed from the day we got engaged to the day we ended it,” adding that the divorce was amicable and they are still able to work “effectively together” referring to their work on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
“First of all we both want to work together — we founded this institution in 2000 — both of us. It has both of our names on the building,” she said. “I believe in that institution, my values are baked into that institution. So I have always felt like it calls us to be our higher selves.”
“Even during the difficult times in the last 18 months while we were going through this process behind the scenes, we were able to show up and work effectively together,” she said.
“I’m not saying it was easy but I’m saying for me I had days where I had tears the hour before an online meeting or I’d be angry but I still rose to be my higher self and I think we can continue to do that,” she said, clarifying that while the two aren’t “friends,” they can still work together.
“We certainly have a working relationship. We are friendly at this point. Friends is a different word for me. That might come over time but for me there is still healing that needs to happen. I wish him well. I certainly don’t wish him any harm. We have a productive working relationship and I think that will continue,” she said.