MIT media lab director resigns over Epstein scandal
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Joichi Ito, the director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, resigned Saturday in a letter to the university's provost just hours after a New Yorker article exposed his involvement in efforts to obscure donations to the university organized by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The New York Times reported Saturday that Ito provided the newspaper a copy of his resignation letter, which said that his decision came after "weeks" of consideration.


Public announcement of his resignation came less than a day after The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow published an article focusing on emails that Ito sent asking others at MIT to hide Epstein's involvement in hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of donations to the university.

Epstein, who killed himself in jail last month ahead of a federal trial on sex trafficking charges, previously accepted a plea deal in a 2008 case that led to him registering as a sex offender. Ito's contacts and work to obscure Epstein's involvement occurred after those previous accusations and his plea deal became public.

 “After giving the matter a great deal of thought over the past several days and weeks, I think that it is best that I resign as director of the media lab and as a professor and employee of the Institute, effective immediately,” Ito wrote, according to the Times.

In a separate email to the Media Lab's staff, Ito reportedly apologized for his involvement in the scandal that has surrounded MIT, where several researchers have quit the school's media lab in protest of the school's hidden financial ties to Epstein.

“The Media Lab community is strong and while this chapter is truly difficult, I am confident the lab will persevere," he wrote, while in a separate email to the Times characterizing Farrow's report as “full of factual errors.”

A spokesperson for MIT did not immediately return a request for comment on Ito's resignation.