(Slay News) – Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has claimed that he “didn’t realize” it would be a problem when he developed a relationship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

During a Sunday interview with British newspaper The Times, Gates admitted he made “a huge mistake” by befriending child sex trafficker Epstein.

65-year-old Gates first met Epstein in 2011, after the now-deceased financier had been convicted and jailed for sexually abusing children in 2008.

The relationship with Epstein played a role in ending Bill Gates’s marriage because Melinda Gates thought the previously-jailed sex criminal was “evil personified.”

Gates told the paper: “At the time, I didn’t realize that by having those meetings it would be seen as giving him credibility.

“You’re almost saying, ‘I forgive that type of behavior,’ or something.

“So clearly the way it’s seen, I made a huge mistake not understanding that.”

Melinda Gates previously told CBS Gayle King that her divorce from Bill “was many things.”

“But I did not like that he’d had meetings with Jeffrey Epstein,” she explained.

“I made that clear to him.”

She said she met the disgraced Epstein “exactly one time because I wanted to see who this man was.

“And I regretted it from the second I stepped in the door.

“He was abhorrent. He was evil personified.

“I had nightmares about it afterward.

“So my heart breaks for these young women.

“On the day I got married, I never thought I would end up being divorced.

“I thought we had worked through some of that.

“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.

“I had a lot of tears for many days. I mean days where I’m literally laying on the floor of the carpet.

“I certainly was angry. I mean this is painful stuff.

“And at the end of the day, though, I started on this journey of healing, and I feel like I’m starting to get to the other side.”

“I hope that happens for me again,” she said of finding love again.

“You know, I’m dipping my toe in that water.”

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