LinkedIn co-founder and wealthy venture capitalist Reid Hoffman says he visited the private residence in the U.S. Virgins Islands where the late Jeffrey Epstein allegedly hid away a sex trafficking enterprise.
The admission came after documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal showed plans for Hoffman, who reportedly boasts a net worth of $2 billion and has been helping to fund writer E. Jean Carroll’s civil suit accusing former President Donald Trump of rape, to visit Little Saint James with former MIT Media Lab research center director Joi Ito twice in March and then November of 2014.
Per the newspaper, Hoffman claimed he visited the island residence just once during a fundraising trip with Ito and cut off contact with Epstein in 2015.
“It gnaws at me that, by lending my association, I helped his reputation, and thus delayed justice for his survivors,” Hoffman told the news outlet. “While I relied on MIT’s endorsement, ultimately I made the mistake,” Hoffman added, “and I am sorry for my personal misjudgment.”
The Wall Street Journal, which in recent days has reported on schedules and other notes showing Epstein making arrangements to meet all sorts of powerful people including now-CIA Director William Burns, disclosed other plans with Hoffman.
These records showed Epstein traveling with Hoffman and Ito from Palm Beach, Florida, to Little St. James — a Caribbean getaway derisively nicknamed “pedophile island,” which Forbes reported on Wednesday was sold to billionaire investor Stephen Deckoff along with Epstein’s other island Great St. James for $60 million — for a weekend during the planned November 2014 visit, and then flying to Boston. The documents also discussed Epstein making plans for Hoffman to stay at his Manhattan townhouse overnight in December 2014 and scheduling Hoffman to appear at a “breakfast party” with Epstein, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and others the next morning.
In 2008, after Epstein was accused of sexually abusing female minors in Florida, he reached a deal with federal prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to state-level prostitution charges, registered as a sex offender, and served roughly 13 months in jail and in a work-release program. Epstein died at the age of 66 in his New York City jail cell in August 2019 after being arrested on sex trafficking charges involving young girls and pleading not guilty.
A month after Epstein’s death, Hoffman acknowledged to Axios having interactions with Epstein and expressed regret for participating in MIT fundraising activity with Epstein present and by extension helping to “repair” Epstein’s “reputation and perpetuate injustice.” Around the same time, Ito stepped from his role at MIT after the New Yorker reported documents showing efforts to conceal hefty donations to its Media Lab and Ito pledged to return money Epstein put toward his investment funds.
In response to the new reporting, Ito told the Wall Street Journal that Hoffman “attended a few fundraising events at my request, including one trip to Little St. James, after I confirmed to Reid that Mr. Epstein had been an approved donor target for MIT in accordance with university rules and regulations.”
In November of last year, the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands announced Epstein’s estate agreed to pay more than $105 million to settle a civil lawsuit claiming he sought to conceal a sex trafficking operation at his island residence.
Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s longtime companion, is serving a 20-year prison sentence after being found guilty of conspiring with Epstein to traffic and sexually abuse underage girls. She has since appealed the conviction.