Melinda French Gates says her ex-husband Bill Gates’ relationship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was a factor in their divorce.
French Gates, who did an interview Thursday with “CBS This Morning,” said she “made that clear to him.”
“I did not like that he had meetings with Jeffrey Epstein, no. I made that clear to him,” French Gates said, adding that she only met “exactly one time” because she “wanted to see who this man was.”
“I regretted it the second I walked in the door,” French Gates, 57, 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.”
Bill Gates, 66, told CBS in a statement that his relationship with Epstein was a “mistake.”
“Meeting with Epstein was a mistake that I regret deeply,” said the Microsoft co-founder. “It was a substantial error in judgement.”
In her interview, French Gates also addressed an alleged affair her husband had with an employee, saying she thought they had gotten through it before their divorce.
“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 her ex-husband had many affairs during their marriage, French Gates answered cryptically, saying, “Those are questions Bill needs to answer.”
Meanwhile, another report said French Gates said “I gave every single piece of myself to this marriage. I was committed from the day we got engaged to the day we ended it.”
But French Gates said the divorce was amicable and that they are still able to work “effectively together.”
“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, but wouldn’t say the two are “friends,” but instead are “friendly.”
“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.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.