Ohio State University is reviewing gifts it may have received from financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was charged this month with sexually abusing dozens of girls, according to an Associated Press report.
“Epstein is a convicted sex offender whose crimes are reprehensible, and his association with these gifts to the university is concerning,” the university said in a statement this week. “Ohio State is conducting a complete review of the giving history to the university by Epstein and known associated entities and will take additional action as appropriate.”
The university did not say whether it would return the gifts, but said after its assessment of his giving history that it “will take additional action as appropriate.”
OSU said it received a $1,000 gift from Epstein in 1990 to the Wexner Center for Arts Membership Fund. Epstein’s reported private foundation, the COUQ Foundation, made a $2.5-million gift to support the Woody Hayes Athletics Center in 2007. That gift, along with the Leslie H. Wexner Charitable Fund’s donation of $2.5 million, were applied to the naming of the Les Wexner Football Complex.
Epstein was the former money manager of Leslie Wexner, the founder of L Brands and a former OSU trustee chairman who has committed tens of millions of dollars to the university, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
The newspaper reported that Wexner wrote an email to employees Monday saying he “was never aware of the illegal activity” Epstein is charged with.