Melinda Gates Had Nightmares After Meeting Jeffrey Epstein: 'He Was Evil Personified'

In a new interview, Melinda Gates weighed in on her working relationship with ex-husband Bill Gates and meeting Jeffrey Epstein.

When it comes to Jeffrey Epstein, Melinda French Gates is not mincing words. 

During a new interview for CBS Mornings, the philanthropist, who divorced longtime husband Bill Gates in 2021, addressed Bill meeting with Jeffrey, the convicted sex offender financier who died in jail in 2019 amid federal sex trafficking charges. 

"I did not like that he'd had meetings with Jeffrey Epstein, no," Melinda told interviewer Gayle King. While she clarified that there were "many things" that played a role in her and Bill's divorce, Melinda confirmed that she made it clear to Bill that she did not like that he'd met with Jeffrey. Melinda further recalled her own impression of Jeffrey, whom she said she met "exactly one time."

"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," Melinda said. "I had nightmares about it afterwards, so, you know, my heart breaks for these young women because that’s how I felt and here I'm an older woman -- my God, I feel terrible for those young women. It was awful."

In a statement to CBS News, Bill said, “Meeting with Epstein was a mistake that I regret deeply. It was a substantial error in judgment. I remain dedicated to my work at the Gates Foundation in partnership with Melinda, where our focus is to help reduce global inequities, giving every person the chance to live a healthy and productive life." 

Though she declined to answer further questions about Bill's relationship with Jeffrey -- "Those are for Bill to answer" -- she did weigh in on the nature of their own working relationship now as exes and co-founders of their foundation. Essentially, don't call them friends, but friendly applies. 

"Friends is a different word for me and, you know, that might come over time, but for me, there’s still healing that needs to happen," she said. "Certainly I wish him well. l I don’t wish him harm and I think we have a productive working relationship and I think that will continue."

Now almost a year out from when they announced their divorce, Melinda told Gayle she's "definitely" open to dating and falling in love again. "I’m dipping my toe in that water a little bit," she said. 

And she's living without any lingering questions. "I don’t question myself now, not at all," Melinda said. "I gave every single piece of myself to this marriage. I was committed to this marriage on the day we got engaged and until the day I got out of it."

As Melinda declared, "I did nothing wrong, so I hold my head high."