Money & Banking

Kevin Rudd caught up in Epstein donation scandal

Kevin Rudd caught up in Epstein donation scandal

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has been forced to address revelations that his think tank received $US650,000 in donations from sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Epstein donated to the INternational Peace Institution, where Rudd is the chairman.

Rudd has said he was "blindsided" by the information and also said that the "revelations were deeply disturbing".

He has also convened a special meeting of the organisation's board to "ensure an equivalent sum was donated to sex assault victims".

However, Rudd has insisted he had no dealings with Epstein.

“I have no recollection whatsoever of ever meeting Epstein,” he said

“I first learned of contributions from Epstein’s foundations to the IPI in November 2019 through reporting by the Norwegian press.”

“Subsequent searches by IPI staff, made at the request of the Board, have identified donations totalling $650,000 that were received between October 2011 and May 2019.”

“The source of these donations had not previously been disclosed to the board, nor to me as chair.”

The story was broken by Norweigian business paper DN, who also revealed that the International Peace Insitute President, Norwegian diplomat Terj Rod-Larsen had a personal loan with Epstein to the sum of $US130,000.

Rudd confirmed he was not aware of the loan and that “any significant engagement with someone as odious as Epstein must be taken ­seriously and investigated thoroughly.”

The former PM added that he was “deeply disappointed that the board has had to learn about so much of this through the media.”