Bill Gates questioned about his meetings with Jeffrey Epstein in a new PBS interview: ‘Well, he’s dead, so in general you always have to be careful’

Bill gates jeffrey epstein
Bill Gates (left) told PBS NewsHour that he regretted having dinners with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Lintao Zhang/Getty Images/Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images/Insider
  • Bill Gates answered questions about Jeffrey Epstein in a PBS NewsHour interview.
  • Gates said he regretted having dinners with Epstein and that their meetings were a mistake.
  • “Well, he’s dead, so in general you always have to be careful,” Gates said when asked about lessons learned.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Bill Gates answered questions about his meetings with financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in a PBS interview on Tuesday.

Asked about Epstein, the Microsoft cofounder told PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff: “I had dinners with him. I regret doing that.”

In response to Woodruff’s question about whether there was a lesson to learn from the experience, Gates said, referring to Epstein: “Well, he’s dead, so in general you always have to be careful.”

Gates’ ties to Epstein were reported in 2019, including in The New York Times. The Times’ investigation found that Gates and Epstein met several times between 2011 and 2013, after Epstein pleaded guilty to sex crimes in Florida state court in 2008.

Gates first addressed his ties with Epstein in November 2019. In a panel discussion, Gates said he “made a mistake in judgement in thinking those discussions would go to global health … that money never appeared.”

Gates didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Gates told Woodruff that Epstein had relationships with people who would give money to global health causes, adding: “not nearly enough philanthropy goes in that direction.”

Gates made a decision to cut off the meetings, he told PBS NewsHour.

“Those meetings were a mistake,” Gates told Woodruff. “They didn’t result in what he purported and I cut them off,” the Microsoft cofounder added.

The meetings were a long time ago, Gates said in the interview. He told Woodruff that there was “nothing new” to say.

Epstein died by suicide in August 2019 while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges.

Following the divorce of Gates and Melinda French Gates in May, sources told The Daily Beast that French Gates had warned her husband about his relationship with Epstein, and was upset after the couple met Epstein in New York in 2013.