Seven women claim that the billionaire philanthropist Michael Steinhardt asked them for sex, or made sexual requests of them, while they were working with him. Steinhardt, 78, is a retired hedge-fund founder and has given at least $127 million to charitable causes since 2003. The claims come in interviews with the women in The New York Times and ProPublica, and one lawsuit. Sheila Katz says she was working for a Jewish college-outreach organization when she was sent to visit Steinhardt to persuade him to increase his support—but claims he asked her repeatedly, in their first meeting, if she wanted to have sex. Deborah Mohile Goldberg worked for another nonprofit when she says Steinhardt asked her if she and a colleague if they would like have a threesome. Natalie Goldfein claims he suggested in a meeting that they have babies together. “Institutions in the Jewish world have long known about his behavior, and they have looked the other way,” said Katz. Steinhardt apologized, but said provocative comments “were part of my shtick since before I had a penny to my name.” Through a spokesman, Steinhardt denied some of the words attributed to him.
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