Updated Sep 14, 2019

Hedge fund manager told Joi Ito to keep his wife's name out of Jeffrey Epstein saga

Bill Ackman attends The Pershing Square Foundation 10th Anniversary Celebration in 2017. Photo: Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

In newly revealed emails, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman urged former MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito to avoid naming his wife — MIT professor Neri Oxman — when discussing Jeffrey Epstein, the Boston Globe reports.

The state of play: In 2017, Oxman produced a gift for Epstein after he donated $125,000 to her lab. In Oxman’s statement to the Globe, she said MIT required Epstein’s gifts to her lab be kept confidential. Per email records, Ito asked Oxman how to respond to media queries and Ackman then raised concerns about his wife's name being tied to Epstein.

"...it is very important that you don't mention Neri's name or otherwise get her involved ... I don't want to see her forced into a position where to protect her name she Is required to be transparent about everything that took place at MIT with Epstein."
— Bill Ackman, in an email to Joi Ito and Neri Oxman on Aug. 20

The big picture: Epstein made at least $7.5 million in donations anonymously or circuitously to the MIT Media Lab.

  • LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman — and MIT professor Neri Oxman, in a statement obtained by the Globe — said they only came into contact with Epstein through Ito for Media Lab fundraising. Ito resigned from the lab last week.

Read the emails obtained by the Boston Globe:

Go deeper ... Exclusive: MIT and Jeffrey Epstein's billionaire enablers

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to clarify that Bill Ackman urged former MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito not to involve Ackman's wife in discussions about Epstein. It originally incorrectly said Ackman advised Ito to keep Epstein's financial ties to MIT a secret.

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Exclusive: Bill Gates regrets meeting with Jeffrey Epstein

Photo: John van Hasselt/Corbis via Getty Images

Bill Gates, who donated $2 million to the MIT Media Lab at the request of pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, told Axios on Monday: "I wish I hadn't met with him."

The big picture: The donation was made in 2014, after Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to two state charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution. MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito resigned Sept. 7 after the extent of his involvement with Epstein was revealed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Sep 17, 2019

How Jeffrey Epstein supported Harvard after his conviction

Photo: Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images

Harvard's association with Jeffrey Epstein did not end in 2008, when the financier was convicted of sex crimes in Florida.

The big picture: Between 1998 and 2007, Epstein gave about $8.9 million to Harvard, mostly in the form of a $6.5 million 2003 gift to Martin Nowak's Program for Evolutionary Dynamics. After the conviction, Harvard "specifically rejected a gift from Epstein," according to a letter from the university's current president, Lawrence Bacow. But Epstein continued to come and go freely on campus.

Go deeperArrowSep 16, 2019

Harvard reviews Epstein's $8.9 million in gifts

Banners at Larry Bacow's 2018 inauguration as Harvard University's 29th president. Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

For 2 weeks, Harvard University has been reviewing gifts made to the school from 1998 to 2007 by sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, University President Lawrence Bacow said Thursday, the Harvard Crimson reports.

The big picture: Epstein's reported $8.9 million in gifts to Harvard, detailed by Bacow, is greater than the known $7.5 million in donations he made anonymously or circuitously to the MIT Media Lab. Epstein's largest reported donation to Harvard was a $6.5 million gift made in 2003 to the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics, which studies evolution, population structure and other areas.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Sep 14, 2019