Before he was indicted for multiple sex trafficking crimes, Jeffrey Epstein — who was arrested again on new sex crime charges on July 7, as The Inquisitr reported — was a lavish donor to Harvard University and other top universities. As a result, he was often himself lavished with high praise from academics and university officials, even forming a close friendship with Lawrence Summers, who was Harvard’s president from 2001 to 2006 and was also United States Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton.
Though Epstein did not attend Harvard, the nation’s most prestigious university, nor has any other known connections to the institution — and in fact, does not even possess a college degree, according to a New York Magazine report — in 2003 he pledged to make a $30 million gift.
That donation was one of many that Epstein gave to Harvard over a period of about a decade prior to 2003, according to a report by The Harvard Crimson, prompting biology and mathematics professor Martin A. Nowak to state that Epstein “knows an amazing number of scientists; he knows everyone you can imagine.”
The Crimson also noted Epstein’s “special connection” to Summers, reporting that Summers and Epstein served together on the elite, policy group known as the Trilateral Commission, as well as on another elite policy-making body, the Council on Foreign Relations.
By 2006, when he first faced sex trafficking accusations in Florida, he had made good on $6.5 million of the $30 million pledge, according to Reuters. But Epstein also donated to other institutions and received praise from academics at those universities as well — even after charges against Epstein involving sex trafficking of underage girls had been widely publicized.
Robert Trivers, a biologist at Rutgers University who received a research grant from Epstein, told Reuters in 2015 — seven years after Epstein had pleaded guilty to a sex crime charge involving an underage girl — that he could overlook Epstein’s offenses against young girls because, “By the time they’re 14 or 15, they’re like grown women were 60 years ago, so I don’t see these acts as so heinous.”
Ira Lamster, who was a dean at Columbia University Dental School and received a $100,000 grant from Epstein, told Reuters that Epstein in his experience was “always a gentleman.”
Epstein also became so close to another Harvard professor, famed defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz, according to a Harvard Crimson report last December, that Dershowitz served on Epstein’s defense team — and helped to negotiate a highly controversial “non-prosecution” agreement for the sex trafficking charges he faced in 2007 and 2008.
Dershowitz and other Harvard professors heaped praise on Epstein for what they said was his “keen intelligence, sharp wit and his uncommon interest in the sciences,” according to the earlier Crimson report.