MIT Media Lab Director Resigns After Reports the Center Hid Massive Donations Tied to Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein

By Published on September 8, 2019


MIT President L. Rafael Reif announced on Saturday that the school’s general counsel would open an investigation into the case “because the accusations in the story are extremely serious” and “demand an immediate, thorough and independent investigation.”

Epstein garnered $7.5 million in donations for the Media Lab — $2 million of which was solicited from Bill Gates and $5.5 million was solicited from investor Leon Black, The New Yorker reported, citing records and accounts from current and former Media Lab faculty.

The donations from Black and Gates were described as “directed” by Epstein or made on his behalf.

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Ito asked Epstein to “re-up/top-off with another $100K so we can extend his contract another year,” in a 2014 email obtained by The New Yorker, to which Epstein replied, “Yes.” He then forwarded Epstein’s response to a colleague making sure the donation was “accounted for as anonymous.”

MIT Media Lab Director of Development and Strategy Peter Cohen similarly wrote in an email, “Jeffrey money, needs to be anonymous. Thanks.”

Reif apologized for the donations in an August statement but did not describe the extent of Epstein’s donations or mention how they were hidden under an “anonymous” donor label.

“With hindsight, we recognize with shame and distress that we allowed MIT to contribute to the elevation of his reputation, which in turn served to distract from his horrifying acts. No apology can undo that,” Reif wrote.

Epstein hanged himself in August after he was sentenced to life in prison on sex trafficking charges in July. The charges came about 11 years after he was given a plea deal to avoid federal charges in 2008, after pleading guilty to charges of solicitation of prostitution and procurement of minors for prostitution.


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