Culverhouse doubles down on refuted claims even after emails released
Even after the release of emails on Sunday irrefutably debunking his claims, Hugh Culverhouse, Jr. continues to peddle the narrative that the University of Alabama System returning his record donation and renaming the law school was related to his support of abortion.
The emails show objectively that Culverhouse was trying to influence the law school’s student admissions; scholarship awards; the hiring and firing of faculty; and the employment status of the law school dean himself.
In a statement released Sunday night, Culverhouse said he was “glad” the emails were released.
However, he ignored the facts revealed by these emails, essentially asserting that the emails proved the opposite of what they actually did.
“The emails further prove that UA returned my $21.5 million donation as retaliation for calling on students to reconsider attending a university that advocates a state law that discriminates against women and is unconstitutional,” Culverhouse alleged.
To be clear, the university has never advocated for the abortion ban law he has referenced, nor was UA in any way involved in passing or supporting that legislation.
Culverhouse added, “The call for the boycott is unrelated to the issue discussed in the emails. Let me be clear, I never asked UA for the full $21.5 million to be returned nor did I hear UA officials discuss that option until after I called for the UA boycott on May 29.”
This comes in spite of facts revealed by the emails being released, including that UA System Chancellor Finis St. John and Trustee Joe Espy recommended returning all of Culverhouse’s law school donation funds on May 25 — a full four days before Culverhouse ever spoke about abortion.
Additionally, one of the emails from Culverhouse to the law school’s dean on May 23 said that Culverhouse had removed the University of Alabama completely from his will and trust and would no longer be giving any more gifts during his lifetime to the university. This was six days before he spoke about Alabama’s abortion ban.
“That amount makes a mockery of the sums I have [already] given,” Culverhouse wrote to the law school dean in that May 23 email. “It is gone. You have already cost University of Alabama Law School a fortune. We will see the next few months if you can change your relationship with me. You may also learn my approach is beneficial.”
Later in that email, Culverhouse suggested changing the name of a proposed constitutional law chairmanship (one of the items his donation was endowing) to “The Richard Shelby Chair of Constitutional Law” and inventing a “cover story” for Culverhouse’s demands not being met. He said the same could be done with the law school “after a financial settlement is reached and accomplished.”
“One of the terms of a settlement would be I will not give any money to any other law school or discuss anything about the Alabama Law School,” Culverhouse concluded in that email.
His statement Sunday night came after emailing a System attorney on June 3, well after Culverhouse had begun his public abortion spectacle, requesting that the emails and documents not be publicly released.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn