September 13, 2019 | 12:37pm
Billionaire LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman stated he regretted assembly with Jeffrey Epstein following the late financier’s first conviction on soliciting an underage prostitute — however that he did so as a result of he trusted the opinion of a former MIT official who had ties to the disgraced cash supervisor.
Hoffman had invited Epstein, together with former MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito to an August 2015 dinner in Palo Alto, the place Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel had been additionally in attendance, Axios reported.
He advised the outlet that he’d solely invited Epstein as a result of Ito — additionally a New York Occasions board member — had vouched for the convicted felony and expressed that he had efficiently cleared MIT’s vetting course of.
That dinner was Hoffman’s final interplay with Epstein, he stated.
“Still, by agreeing to participate in any fundraising activity where Epstein was present, I helped to repair his reputation and perpetuate injustice,” he wrote in an announcement emailed to Axios Thursday. “For this, I am deeply regretful.”
Ito had beforehand claimed that MIT took solely $800,000 from Epstein and his buddies over a 20-year interval, when the quantity was actually $7.5 million, in line with The New Yorker.
The college was stated to have labored with Epstein to rearrange a $2 million donation from Microsoft founder Invoice Gates and greater than $5 million from investor Leon Black.
When that story emerged, MIT President Rafael Reif introduced the college would conduct “an immediate, thorough and independent investigation.”
“I support a thorough, independent investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s connections and am hopeful that the investigation announced by President Rafael Reif exposes the flaws in the existing process and establishes new clear safeguards moving forward,” Hoffman wrote, in line with Axios.
“The abuse described by Jeffery Epstein’s survivors is abhorrent, horrific, and disgusting,” he added. “I am hopeful survivors can attain justice and support, and the communities damaged by these events can begin healing.”
Ito resigned from his publish on Saturday.