Sep 13, 2019

Reid Hoffman shamed in Epstein rehab

Reid Hoffman. Photo: Kimberly White/Getty Images for New York Times

Venture capitalist and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman apologized Thursday in an exclusive statement to Axios for his role in Jeffrey Epstein's societal rehabilitation after his sex crimes conviction

Why it matters: We've spent lots of time castigating Leon Black for his continued relationship with Epstein, but have neglected to mention how Hoffman also played a role in Epstein's attempts to rehab his image.

  • For example, Hoffman invited Epstein to a high-powered Silicon Valley dinner in 2015, where other guests included Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Peter Thiel.

What he said: "I helped to repair his reputation and perpetuate injustice. For this, I am deeply regretful."

The big picture: Hoffman also drove another bus over former MIT Media Lab boss Joi Ito, saying that Ito had assured him that Epstein had cleared MIT's vetting process. Even if so, it's unclear why that would have outweighed Epstein's guilty plea from years earlier.

Go deeper: MIT and Jeffrey Epstein's billionaire enablers

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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.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Sep 14, 2019

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