Director of M.I.T.’s Media Lab Resigns After Outcry Over Jeffrey Epstein Ties – The New York Times
A spokeswoman for Mr. Black, who leads one of the world’s largest private equity firms, did not immediately comment on Saturday. Mr. Black has sought to distance himself from Mr. Epstein, describing his interactions with him as limited to tax strategy, estate planning and philanthropic advice. He has also said Apollo had never done business with Mr. Epstein.
Some colleagues at the lab had called for Mr. Ito to step down, questioning his judgment for taking contributions from Mr. Epstein. Two scholars said they would leave the lab at the end of the academic year because of them, and one of said he had urged Mr. Ito not to associate with Mr. Epstein.
The meeting last Wednesday was intended to help bolster support for Mr. Ito. He told the crowd that he had “screwed up” by accepting the money, but that he had done so after a review by the university and consultation with his advisers.
But near the end, one of Mr. Ito’s staunchest supporters, Nicholas Negroponte, a founder of the lab, said he had told Mr. Ito to take the money and would do it again. That prompted Mr. Ito to send an email to Mr. Negroponte in the middle of the night, complaining that he was undercutting his ability to make amends.
Mr. Ito also held board positions and advisory roles at a number of organizations, including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation. On Saturday afternoon, the MacArthur Foundation said that Mr. Ito had resigned from its board, adding, “The recent reports of Ito’s behavior in The New Yorker, if true, would not be in keeping with the values of MacArthur.”
A spokesman for the Knight Foundation, Andrew Sherry, said on Saturday that Mr. Ito had resigned from its board as well.