Epstein Spent over $500,000 on Never-Aired Episodes of PBS’s “Closer to Truth”

(CNBC) A year prior to Jeffrey Epstein being accused of sex trafficking, he was quietly funding episodes of a science TV series that airs on PBS.

“Closer to Truth,” a show that was created to help viewers gain a “better understanding of our human experience,” according to its website, was working on a group of episodes that would focus on the “nature of mathematics,” the program’s founder said in an interview.

The project has yet to be completed and lacks funding in the wake of Epstein’s death. An attorney for Epstein did not return a request for comment.

Robert Kuhn, the creator of “Closer to Truth,” said Epstein committed to funding the project in its entirety, agreeing to spend $1.4 million. The financial support came through Epstein’s nonprofit organization, Gratitude America, Ltd.

Part of the guaranteed money came in 2018, in the form of a $500,000 check that was sent to Kuhn’s Foundation from Gratitude America, according to Epstein’s group’s most recent 990 tax return obtained by CNBC. Kuhn said the money was being used to help produce the episodes.

The donation to Kuhn’s foundation is the largest donation Epstein made before he was arrested a year later on sex trafficking charges. After Epstein pleaded not guilty, he died in August while in federal lockup. His death was ruled a suicide…

The discovery that Epstein was funding a science-based TV show is the latest example of how many who met him overlooked the financier’s previous legal disputes, which included being sentenced to a Florida jail in 2008 for soliciting a prostitute.

[Read more…]