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Bill Ackman demands Business Insider retract story calling wife Neri Oxman a plagiarist saying 'hit job' was because he attacked Claudine Gay

Hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman sent a scathing demand letter to Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, on Friday demanding the publication retract an article which accused his wife Neri Oxman of being a plagiarist.

Ackman claimed his wife, a scientist-turned-entrepreneur was written about only because he was an outspoken critic of Harvard University and its president Claudine Gay over the explosion of antisemitism on campus in the wake of the October 7 Hamas massacre of hundreds of Israelis.

Business Insider reported that Oxman had used text in her Massachusetts Institute of Technology PhD without attribution and published their story shortly after a string of revelations that Gay herself had been a serial user of other academics’ work. Gay quit over the antisemitism and plagiarism storm. 7 Business Insider’s story about Neri Oxman was “defamatory” attorneys claim in a 77-page letter to the publication’s parent company, and, they allege, motivated by Ackman’s activism. Getty Images

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Friday the activist investor claimed Business Insider’s reporting was “defamatory, materially false and misleading, and designed to cause her harm, principally because the reporters do not like me, my support for Israel, and my advocacy.”

And in a 77-page legal letter to Axel Springer, the German publishing giant which also owns Politico, lawyers for his wife said that if it did not have the story retracted, she reserved the right to sue.

Both Business Insider and Axel Springer have repeatedly said they stand by the stories about Oxman and denied any ethical lapses in their reporting and publication.

Ackman also shared the full 77-page complaint letter, addressed to Axel Springer CEO Mathias Dpfner and detailed how he had decided not to sue because he had been told the publishing giant was “an important advocate against antisemitism.”

“The articles are full of untrue and reckless claims, but worst of all, they falsely accuse Dr. Oxman of intentionally plagiarizingand admitting to that academic misconductin her doctoral dissertation and other published works,” the complaint alleges.

“If we can resolve this matter as we have proposed, we can avoid litigation, and more importantly, we can hopefully end Business Insiders unethical and unprofessional practices.” 7 This was how Bill Ackman revealed his latest move against Axel Springer, the parent company of Business Insider. 7 Business Insider published three articles in early January about Neri Oxman’s alleged plagiarism. Business Insider

The letter accuses the outlet of “journalistic misconduct” and alleges they “acted with actual malice.”

“[Business Insider] repeatedly violated basic tenets of ethical journalism, including by lying to Ackman and Dr. Oxman, failing to give them any realistic time to review and respond to allegations against them, misrepresenting material facts, and purposely harming the subjects of their reporting to serve their political biases,” it alleges.

The letter came from defamation attorneys Clare Locke, who also represented both Harvard and Gay when she and the university tried to stop The Post revealing the string of plagiarism allegations against the embattled president.

Oxmans academic work came under scrutiny after Ackman advocated for the ousting of former Harvard University president Claudine Gay when she was accused of nearly 50 instances of plagiarism in her academic work. 7 Bill Ackman amplified plagiarism accusations brought against Harvard President Claudine Gay before she was ousted and says Business Insider targeted him as a result. REUTERS 7 Ackman vowed to sue Business Insider, and warned that the outlet was “toast” on X, formerly Twitter in January. On Friday he released a letter making his threat concrete.

Ackman, a Harvard alumnus, had been a fierce and public critic of Gays response to campus antisemitism.

On January 4, Business Insider reported on allegations that Oxman herself plagiarized.

Under the headline Bill Ackmans celebrity academic wife Neri Oxmans dissertation is marred by plagiarism, the outlet pointed to four paragraphs in her 330 page MIT PhD dissertation where quotation marks were missing, and one instance where another source is paraphrased but not cited.

For each of the four paragraphs in question, I properly credited the original sources author(s) with references, Oxman, 47, responded on X. In these four paragraphs, however, I did not place the subject language in quotation marks, which would hue the proper approach for crediting the work. I regret and apologize for these errors.

Hours later, Business Insider published a followup story under the headline Neri Oxman admits to plagiarizing in her doctoral dissertation after BI report. And, in yet another report the following day, the outlet accused Oxman of lifting sentences and paragraphs from Wikipedia in her 2010 dissertation.

You know you struck a chord when they go after your wife, in this case my love and partner in life, Ackman shot back on X. He subsequently vowed to sue Business Insider, saying theyve tripled down on their false claims and defamation” and declaring “Business Insider is toast” on X. 7 Axel Springer CEO Mathias Dpfner was spotted dining with Ackman. Getty Images 7 Ackman’s letter targets Business Insider, whose editor-in-chief Nicholas “Nich” Carlson, oversees its coverage. Sportsfile via Getty Images

The complaint letter alleges that plagiarism, as defined by MIT’s academic standards, requires an “intent to steal or defraud,” and does not include honest error.

“Business Insider wanted to create the false impression that Dr. Oxman committed intellectual theft. Business Insider knew that Dr. Oxman did not commit plagiarism or academic fraud under MITs own policies, yet it published eight false and materially misleading articles damaging Dr. Oxmans reputation anyway,” lawyer Elizabeth M. Locke, who also represented Claudine Gay, wrote.

Axel Springer, the German parent company of Business Insider, launched a review of the story and its publication but with days said in a statement: “We stand by Business Insider and its newsroom.

There was no unfair bias or personal, political, and/or religious motivation in the pursuit of the stories.

Business Insider CEO Barbara Peng said in an internal memo. The stories were newsworthy and Neri Oxman, who has a public profile as a prominent intellectual and has been a subject of and participant in media coverage, is a fair subject.

And Adib Sisani, communications director for Axel Springer, told Puck: Most people underestimated the way that Bill Ackman is completely losing it.

The Post has reached out to Axel Springer for comment.

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