Bard President Obtained $150,000 From Basis Created by Jeffrey Epstein

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Leon Botstein, the president of Bard Faculty, personally acquired $150,000 for consulting charges in 2016 from a basis created by Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced billionaire accused of sexually abusing teenage women, The Wall Road Journal reported on Wednesday.

In a short interview with The New York Occasions, Dr. Botstein confirmed the cost from the inspiration, Gratitude America, and stated that he donated all of it to the school as a part of a $1 million present he gave that very same 12 months.

Dr. Botstein, 76, stated the remainder of his donation to the school got here from his private financial savings and earnings. He has been president of Bard Faculty since 1975 and earned about $400,000 in 2016.

“I didn’t profit personally in any respect,” he stated. The cash he acquired from Mr. Epstein’s basis, he stated, “made it potential for me to offer as a lot as we have been in a position to give that 12 months” to the school.

He added: “I’m not a wealthy particular person.”

Dr. Botstein had beforehand stated that in addition to an unsolicited $75,000 present and 66 laptops, Mr. Epstein had not given any items to Bard.

On Wednesday, Dr. Botstein stated that he didn’t disclose the cash from the inspiration throughout a earlier interview with The Occasions earlier this month as a result of he was not conscious of it. He stated “the contract was signed by another person” so Mr. Epstein’s title didn’t seem on his information. He stated he didn’t keep in mind the 2016 funds till he seemed into the matter after being requested by The Wall Road Journal.

Bard Faculty stated in a press release that Dr. Botstein gave the $150,000 as a part of his “annual 2016 present to Bard, together with private financial savings and the remainder of his non-Bard revenue from honoraria and out of doors conducting charges, a apply he has maintained for a few years.”

It’s unclear whether or not the board of Bard Faculty was conscious of this cost. Efforts to interview James Chambers, the board chairman, and different trustees weren’t profitable.

The cost is the most recent revelation that provides a deeper look into how Mr. Epstein used his cash to purchase affect. Mr. Epstein gave prolifically to many charities and universities, together with Harvard and M.I.T.

A report in The Wall Road Journal final month confirmed that Mr. Epstein’s community was wider than beforehand thought, together with figures just like the linguist Noam Chomsky and Lawrence Summers, the previous Treasury secretary and president of Harvard. Dr. Summers sought cash for a poetry basis, led by his spouse, Elisa New, a Harvard literature professor.

Dr. Botstein repeatedly pursued Mr. Epstein over a interval of a number of years, making quite a few visits to Mr. Epstein’s Higher East Aspect townhouse. Dr. Botstein stated these visits have been all about cash for Bard, a liberal arts faculty closely depending on rich donors.

“He loved humiliating and dangling prospects,” Dr. Botstein instructed The Occasions earlier this month. “He was sadistic. He completely strung me alongside.”

However in a press release on Wednesday, the school stated that Mr. Epstein expressed curiosity in Bard’s music packages and launched Dr. Botstein, a conductor, to Gratitude America, which had shaped an advisory council of consultants from totally different disciplines.

The inspiration’s president, Richard Kahn — a longtime adviser to Mr. Epstein and an executor of his property — invited Dr. Botstein to serve a one-year time period on the advisory board as a music adviser, in accordance with the assertion. Mr. Kahn didn’t reply to messages left with cellphone numbers and an e mail handle related together with his title.

The faculty’s assertion added, “Had the extent and horror of Epstein’s crimes been identified, Bard wouldn’t have accepted his assist.”

Susan C. Beachy contributed reporting.

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