Dartmouth donor linked to Epstein keeps name on building
Dartmouth College has no plans to rename the Black Family Visual Arts Center, despite accusations that wealthy donor Leon Black sexually abused and assaulted a Russian woman, at one point allegedly handing her to meet with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Leon Black, who gave the college approximately $48 million for the visual arts center, was ousted from his position at Apollo Global Management earlier this year after his ties to Epstein were revealed. The Apollo board discovered that Black, one of the company’s co-founders, had paid out more than $150 million to Epstein after Epstein’s 2008 conviction for sexually assaulting a child.
In June, former Russian model Guzel Ganieva, filed a lawsuit in New York against Black claiming he abused her over the course of their seven-year relationship. Ganieva’s lawsuit also claims that Black flew her to Florida in 2008 against her will in order to have sex with Epstein.
Dartmouth’s Associate Vice President for Communications, Diana Lawrence, said this week the college has no plans to remove Black’s name from the building.
“There are no plans to rename the arts center,” Lawrence said. “We are going to decline to comment on an ongoing legal matter.”
Diana Whitney, with the group, Dartmouth Community against Gender Harassment and Sexual Violence, called the school’s refusal to change the building’s name despicable.
“These new allegations of sexual violence are disturbing; however the crux of the matter is Black’s longtime association with Epstein. I just finished reading the book Perversion of Justice by Miami Herald journalist Julie K. Brown and learned about the extent of Epstein's sex trafficking operation,” Whitney said. “Anyone who paid Epstein money following his 2008 arrest, let alone $158 million, enabled his continued abuse of hundreds of girls. Given this information, is despicable for Dartmouth to keep Black’s name on the visual arts center.”
Lawrence has said the college condemns Epstein’s behavior.
Epstein is the financier who was convicted in a child sex assault case in Florida in 2008, and received a controversial, lenient sentence. Federal agents have identified 36 girls, some as young as 14 years old, as alleged victims. Epstein committed suicide in jail in 2019 after he was arrested on sex trafficking charges. His former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested last year on charges of sexually trafficking girls for Epstein. She was taken into custody at her Bradford home where she was reportedly hiding.
Epstein and Maxwell had ties to the rich and powerful, with figures like former President Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and former President Donald Trump all circling Epstein and Maxwell’s orbit. Black has denied knowing about Epstein’s criminal activities.
However, according to the documents filed in Ganieva’s lawsuit Black “made multiple comments to Ms. Ganieva about Epstein’s sexual proclivities.”
The lawsuit claims Black knew that Epstein would fly “very young girls” on his private jet. Black allegedly told Ganieva that Epstein made money because “he takes care of the little girls.”
The Black Family Vistula Arts Center was opened in 2012 after Black donated the $48 million needed to build it. The center houses the departments of studio art, film and media studies, and digital humanities.
Black Family Center
Dartmouth College has no plans remove the Black name from the Black Family Visual Arts Center after revelations former trustee Leon Black, who donated the $48 million for the center, was named in a sex abuse lawsuit.
Photo from Dartmouth College Flicker account
Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested last year at her Bradford home, where she was reportedly in hiding.
Photo by Damien Fisher