Trump Backer Peter Thiel Belatedly Apologizes for Once Writing that Rape Can Be 'Delayed Regret'

Billionaire venture capitalist and Donald Trump backer Peter Thiel became a household name and press scourge earlier this year, when he assumed the role of one-man anti-free speech crusader and bankrolled the $10 million lawsuit that destroyed Gawker. Now, Thiel has been forced to apologize for some ill-considered speech of his own.


Monday, the Facebook board member released a statement distancing himself from comments he made in a 1995 book co-written by with Zenefits CEO David Sacks. The book, The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism And Political Intolerance On Campus—which Thiel and Sacks penned as young obnoxious whippersnappers at Stanford University—bills itself as an exploration of “the debilitating impact that politically-correct ‘multiculturalism’ has had upon higher education.”

In it, the pair argued, among other things, that the definition of rape has been wrongly expanded to included “seductions that are later regretted.”

Writing about Stanford’s sexual assault policies, Thiel and Sacks wrote “since a multicultural rape charge may indicate nothing more than belated regret, a woman might ‘realise’ 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?”

“The purpose of the rape crisis movement seems as much about vilifying men as about raising ‘awareness,’” the book adds.

In a statement, Thiel apologized for his past remarks.“More than two decades ago, I co-wrote a book with several insensitive, crudely argued statements,” Thiel told Forbes. “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.” 

Sacks, who is the chief executive for the human resources startup Zenefits, also apologized for the book, telling Recode “this is college journalism written over 20 years ago. 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.”

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