Peter Thiel, the PayPal co-founder who recently pledged $1.25 million to the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, apologized for comments he made about rape and diversity in a 1996 book he co-wrote, Forbes reports.
In “The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism and Political Intolerance on Campus,” Thiel and co-author David O. Sacks argued that multiculturalism in colleges was hurting education, and that some cases of alleged date rape were actually “seductions that are later regretted.”
In one section of the book, Thiel and Sacks wrote,"But since a multicultural rape charge may indicate nothing more than belated regret, a woman might ‘realize’ that she had been ‘raped’ the next day or even many days later. Under these circumstances, it is unclear who should be held responsible. If the alcohol made both of them do it, then why should the woman’s consent be obviated any more than the man’s? Why is all blame placed on the man?”
In his apology 20 years later, Thiel said in a statement, “More than two decades ago, I co-wrote a book with several insensitive, crudely argued statements,” Forbes reports. “As I’ve said before, I wish I’d never written those things. I’m sorry for it. Rape in all forms is a crime. I regret writing passages that have been taken to suggest otherwise.”
Another passage in “The Diversity Myth” took aim at multiculturalism, with the authors writing that “real diversity requires a diversity of ideas, not simply a bunch of like-minded activists who resemble the bar scene from ‘Star Wars.’”
Sacks, the former chief operating officer of PayPal and current chief executive officer of Zenefits, also apologized for the passages, telling the website Recode, “It does not represent who I am or what I believe today. I’m embarrassed by some of my former views and regret writing them.”
This isn’t the first time Thiel has made headlines this year. In May, the billionaire revealed that he had paid the legal fees of Hulk Hogan, the wrestler who successfully sued the website Gawker for invasion of privacy after it had published a sex tape featuring him.
Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that Thiel had pledged $1.25 million to the campaign of Donald Trump and super PACs supporting his election. The pledge apparently came after the release of the tape in which Trump bragged to “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush that he sometimes kisses women and grabs their genitals without their consent.
Thiel’s donation was criticized by some other entrepreneurs, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who said, “Peter Thiel is a contrarian, and you have to remember that contrarians are usually wrong.”
Thiel’s second book, “Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future,” co-written with Blake Masters, was published in 2014.