A year previous to Jeffrey Epstein being accused of intercourse trafficking, he was quietly funding episodes of a science TV collection that airs on PBS.
“Closer to Truth,” a present that was created to assist viewers acquire a “better understanding of our human experience,” in accordance with its web site, was engaged on a group of episodes that might concentrate on the “nature of mathematics,” this system’s founder stated in an interview.
Robert Kuhn, the creator of “Closer to Truth,” says Epstein dedicated to funding the undertaking in its entirety, agreeing to spend $1.four million. The monetary assist got here by means of Epstein’s nonprofit group, Gratitude America, Ltd.
Part of the assured cash got here in 2018, within the type of a $500,000 test that was despatched to Kuhn’s Foundation from Gratitude America, in accordance with Epstein’s group’s most up-to-date 990 tax return obtained by web. Kuhn stated the cash was getting used to assist produce the episodes.
The donation to Kuhn’s basis is the biggest donation Epstein made before he was arrested a year afterward intercourse trafficking expenses. After Epstein pleaded not responsible, he died in August whereas in federal lockup. His demise was dominated a suicide.
The different donation from Epstein’s charity to Kuhn’s group got here in 2017 for $150,000 and that, too, was a part of Epstein’s funding into “Closer to Truth,” the collection founder defined.
The undertaking has but to be accomplished and lacks funding within the wake of Epstein’s demise. An legal professional for Epstein didn’t return a request for remark.
Epstein’s first engagement with Kuhn got here a year before the multimillionaire despatched in his first donation for the episodes. The two spoke on the cellphone and met quite a few occasions at his residence in New York, the exhibits creator says, after being launched by means of a group of scientists, though he declined to call who these scientists had been.
Kuhn stated he had no data of any of the accusations that had been later levied in opposition to Epstein on the time of their first introduction in 2016 and sooner or later encounters he had with him. He referred to as his habits “reprehensible.”
“The obvious answer is that it’s totally reprehensible what’s been reported and it’s an example of how corruption can be used in human control,” he informed web. “It is an example of the corruption of power distorts your own reality and then exercises this power over people who are psychologically defenseless.”
Kuhn later defined that he can not give away the cash Epstein contributed as a result of he’s already spent it on crafting some components of the episodes however assured he would, sooner or later, not use donor cash to finish the undertaking.
“I wouldn’t take money from anyone else to do this and if I do finish this, then I would do it with my own money,” he stated. “I feel an obligation to finish it and wouldn’t ask anyone to fund it with this baggage.”
The discovery that Epstein was funding a science-based TV present is the most recent instance of what number of who met him missed the financier’s earlier authorized disputes, which included being sentenced to a Florida jail in 2008 for soliciting a prostitute. He was sentenced to 18 months and ended up serving 13 months.
Epstein’s group completed 2018 giving out $891,000 in contributions, in accordance with tax paperwork, together with $10,000 to the New School in New York and $100,000 to a nonprofit referred to as Humanity +, which describes itself as a group “dedicate[d] to elevating the human condition.”
The monetary assist for Kuhn’s present additionally provides a glimpse into how Epstein, behind the scenes, used his wealth to spend money on nontraditional initiatives and to get entry to leaders in numerous mental communities. Epstein donated repeatedly to Harvard and was recognized to have scientists as allies inside the college.
Epstein had ties to a number of scientists. According to a report by Buzz Feed News, Epstein had hyperlinks to Martin Novak, a Harvard mathematical biologist, Lawrence Krauss, a legendary physicist, and George Church, a genetics professor at Harvard.
Outside of the shut allegiances he had with scientists, Epstein was recognized to have shoppers within the enterprise group, together with longtime investor Leon Black. Epstein additionally got here into contact with billionaire Bill Gates, who has since referred to as the conferences a “mistake.”
Another previous affiliate of Epstein’s was Donald Trump. Before he turned president, Epstein and Trump reportedly used to social gathering collectively however the two later had a falling out.