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Online Readers: 48
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Lawrence Lessig, Harvard law professor, sues New York Times over Jeffrey Epstein story


Lawrence Lessig, Harvard legislation professor, sues New York Times over Jeffrey Epstein story

BOSTON — A Harvard University legislation professor introduced Monday that he’s suing The New York Times for what he calls “clickbait defamation” over a narrative the newspaper revealed associated to donations from financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Lawrence Lessig filed the lawsuit in response to a narrative the Times revealed on Sept. 14 about his ideas on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology receiving nameless donations from the rich se-x offender.

In the lawsuit, Lessig’s legal professional says the Times revealed a “sensationalized, false and defamatory ‘clickbait’ headline and lede,” USA Today reported.

The story’s headline reads, “A Harvard Professor Doubles Down: If You Take Epstein’s Money, Do It in Secret.” The first sentence reads, “It is hard to defend soliciting donations from the convicted se-x offender Jeffrey Epstein. But Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Law professor, has been trying.”

The story was based mostly on an interview with Lessig and a Medium essay he revealed defending Joi Ito, the director of MIT’s Media Lab, who resigned amid an uproar over the lab’s ties to Epstein.



Lessig claims the headline misrepresents his interview, during which he condemned the donations, but additionally is quoted as saying to the Times, “if you’re going to take the money, you damn well better make it anonymous.”

New York Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha stated the newspaper defends the story’s accuracy.

“When Professor Lessig contacted The Times to complain about the story, senior editors reviewed his complaint and were satisfied that the story accurately reflected his statements,” Ha stated. “We plan to defend against the claim vigorously.”

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