Brad Pitt's ex-girlfriend dragged into Jeffrey Epstein scandal
American Media Inc.
September 14, 2019
September 14, 2019 4:29 PM EDT
Dr. Neri Oxman, associate professor of Media Arts and Sciences, MIT, speaks at The 2017 Concordia Annual Summit at Grand Hyatt New York on Sept. 18, 2017, in New York City.Riccardo Savi / Getty Images for Concordia Summit
Brad Pitt‘s old flame Neri Oxman has become embroiled in the uncomfortable Jeffrey Epstein scandal, according to The Boston Globe. Oxman, 43, an architect and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has admitted to speaking to Epstein — after which he donated thousands of dollars to her Media Lab.
As RadarOnline.com readers know, disgraced financier Epstein allegedly committed suicide in his jail cell on Aug. 10 at age 66 — but fallout from his misdeeds is still ongoing. In 2008, Epstein was convicted by a Florida state court of soliciting a prostitute and of procuring an underage girl for prostitution. He served almost 13 months in custody, with work release as part of his plea deal.
But his legal problems weren’t over. Epstein was arrested again on July 6, 2019, on federal charges for sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York but died before he could face justice. Radar’s exclusive podcast rips the lid off his evil.
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In 2018, Pitt, 55, was briefly linked to Oxman, the brainy brunette beauty who works at MIT. Oxman said at the time that the Snatch actor was “an incredible human being” and “a good friend.” A source claimed to Radar that it was much more than friendship and Pitt told his friends “that their sexual chemistry is off the hook and that he is absolutely in love.”
But in heartbreak for Pitt, in January 2019, Oxman and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, 53, announced that they had wed and were expecting their first child together. She reportedly gave birth earlier this year.
Ackman told the New York Times, “Having children is something Neri has always wanted. So this is quite an amazing gift for both of us.”
Now, however, the Globe has reported that Oxman presented her research and discussed her work before potential benefactor Epstein in a secret MIT meeting in October 2015. The convicted sex offender visited then-MIT director Joi Ito’s office where well-known architect and designer Oxman, whose work has been featured at the Smithsonian Institution, said she was among those who spoke.
She discussed her research on how art, science, engineering, and design work together and brought small-scale models of her sculptures. Ito and another senior MIT professor were also present.
Epstein clearly was convinced as her lab called Mediated Matter then received US$125,000 from him over the years. Epstein’s donations to MIT were kept secret — until now. Oxman told The Globe in a statement, “This is the first and only time I met Epstein. Joi assured me that Epstein was an approved donor who wished to devote his fortune to science and technology, in part to make amends for wrongs he committed earlier in his life.”
After the meeting, Oxman said Ito twice asked her to write notes thanking Epstein for his contributions. Although also invited to dine with Epstein, Oxman said she declined. However, in 2017, Ito asked that Oxman’s design lab send Epstein a printed marble object as a gift.
She agreed and it was sent to Epstein’s Manhattan home. MIT is currently being investigated over how the university handled Epstein’s contributions. Oxman, who received tenure in 2017, is currently on maternity leave but has said a graduate student brought Epstein’s past to her attention at one point. “Have you read the articles about this Jeff Epstein? He seems pretty shady. . . . Just wanted to point it out in case you weren’t aware,” the student wrote to Oxman, who was in Barcelona at the time.
“Joi and I are aware,” Oxman wrote back. “I’ll share more in person when I return.” In the e-mail string, Oxman added that “Jeff E.” should always be “confidential,” the Globe report noted. But she also told the graduate student “do not worry, we are *not* sponsored by him, per my direction,” according to the e-mail. Oxman said in her statement that MIT required that Epstein’s gifts to her lab be kept confidential, “so as to not enhance his reputation by association with MIT, and with the understanding that he would not be considered a sponsor of our group’s research or have any involvement in how the funds were spent.”
Oxman’s husband Ackman was concerned about Oxman’s name being tied to the Epstein situation, The Globe’s sources said. Ackman wrote in an email, “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. Once her name appears in the press, she will face a barrage of questions, and anything other than perfect transparency to the media will make her look like she is hiding something. This has regretfully become a witch hunt.”
In her statement on Friday, Oxman said, “I regret having received funds from Epstein, and deeply apologize to my students for their inadvertent involvement in this mess.” Ito declined to comment. Pitt was “totally smitten” with Oxman after his split from wife Angelina Jolie, a Radar source said. But the teacher allegedly dumped him for billionaire Ackman.