M.I.T. President Says He Thanked Jeffrey Epstein for Gift in Letter


Mr. Ito, who apologized last month for accepting money from Mr. Epstein for the lab and for his own outside investment funds, did not respond to a request for comment. He stepped down from the Media Lab — and other positions, including a seat on the New York Times Company board — on Saturday, a day after The New Yorker described emails among Media Lab officials about Mr. Epstein’s gifts.

According to the emails, which The Times reviewed, Mr. Epstein also helped secure millions of dollars in donations from the Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Leon D. Black, the founder of Apollo Global Management, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms.

A spokesman for Mr. Gates previously said, “Any claim that Epstein directed any programmatic or personal grant making for Bill Gates is completely false.” Representatives of Mr. Black did not return requests for comment.

The 2012 letter to Mr. Epstein that Mr. Reif signed was uncovered by the law firm Goodwin Procter, which M.I.T. hired to investigate the links between Mr. Epstein and the university. The school said last month that it had received roughly $800,000 from Mr. Epstein over the past two decades, which had gone either to the Media Lab or to a professor, Seth Lloyd.

The 2012 donation — believed by the university to be the first from Mr. Epstein after his 2008 guilty plea — went to Mr. Lloyd, a physicist, Mr. Reif said. Mr. Lloyd said last month he had had a relationship with Mr. Epstein that began in 2004 and ended only after The Miami Herald reported last year about allegations against Mr. Epstein.

“I helped Mr. Epstein protect his reputation, and I disempowered his victims,” Mr. Lloyd wrote in a post on the Medium online platform. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

An M.I.T. spokesman said the school had no comment beyond Mr. Reif’s letter, which characterized the details released Thursday as preliminary findings from Goodwin Procter’s investigation.

Late Thursday, Harvard’s president, Lawrence S. Bacow, released a statement detailing Mr. Epstein’s gifts to that university, which totaled about $8.9 million and ended in 2007, “based on current information,” he said. “Epstein’s connections as a donor to this university, and other institutions, raise important concerns,” he wrote.



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