Whitman's son had previously been charged with assaulting woman; charges were dropped


Several years after California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman donated $30 million to Princeton University, the school decided not to punish her son for an alleged rape, according to a new report by Gawker.

Gawker's Maureen O'Connor reports that in the spring of 2006, an unnamed classmate accused Griffith Rutherford Harsh V, Whitman's son, of rape. By his own admission, Harsh met up with the girl after a night of partying and had sex with her.

"She awoke the next morning with a black eye, bruised face and, she told friends, with no memories from the previous night," O'Connor writes. An anonymous friend of told the website that the girl didn't remember consenting or having sex.

She was "terrified," the friend said. "She didn't want to press charges because it's Meg Whitman's son. She didn't want to go through that. She didn't go to the police. She didn't get a rape kit."

Harsh was never arrested in relation to the incident, but later that summer he was called to testify before Princeton University's Committee on Discipline.

A source provided Gawker with Harsh's closing statement. "I am deeply saddened and upset that [redacted] finds herself in this situation where she cannot remember what occurred between us that night," he said. He thought she had been sober enough to consent and suggested she injured herself in a fall.

"How somebody would think it was OK to sleep with this girl, who is bleeding from her face, is beyond me," her friend observed.

The panel decided there was not enough evidence to discipline Harsh. He went back to school and graduated in 2009.

Harsh, the Whitman campaign, Princeton University and the alleged rape victim all declined to comment on the report.

This wasn't the first time Harsh found himself in trouble during his Princeton years. In 2005, he was arrested for buying alcohol with a fake I.D. Weeks after Princeton decline to discipline him on the rape accusations, Harsh was arrested for breaking another woman's ankle but the charges were later dismissed.

Gawker reported Harsh has been absent from Whitman's campaign.

"The decision by Princeton officials to permit the son of one of its most prominent donors to remain in school following such serious allegations may raise questions about her influence at Princeton University, too," Gawker noted.