In a lengthy legal document made public the evening of January 3 about sex-trafficking allegations against Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, several prominent architecture benefactors were named.
Among them is Tom Pritzker, billionaire and executive chair of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Architects may recognize Pritzker as the individual who hands over medals to each year’s Pritzker Prize winners. Tom Pritzker is president of the Pritzker Family Philanthropic Fund, the Hyatt Foundation’s charitable wing which supports the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Sexual allegations against Tom Pritkzer by Virginia Roberts Giuffre were first made public in 2019 after three years of court depositions. “How many times have you had sex with Tom Pritzker?” Giuffre’s lawyer asked in a 2016 deposition. “I believe I was with Tom once,” Giuffre replied.
At that same 2016 court appearance Giuffre said she had sex with an “owner of a large hotel chain” in France. Giuffre also said she was “sent” by Maxwell to perform the sex acts.
Pritzker, through a spokesperson, has denied the claims. “This is the same false and isolated allegation that was published and vehemently denied more than four years ago,” a spokesperson for Pritzker said in a statement shared with Newsweek. “Mr. Pritzker continues to vehemently deny it.” AN has reached out to the Pritzker Architecture Award for comment.
Another design noteworthy named in the public documents is Les Wexner, founder of L Brands—a parent company for Abercrombie & Fitch, Bath & Body Works, and Victoria’s Secret. In 1989, The Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University designed by Peter Eisenman opened its doors; a famous project financed by Les Wexner, who has also been accused of sexual allegations by Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
As previously reported by AN, the names of several architects and designers were listed in Jeffrey Epstein’s “Black Book” when its contents were published in 2019 by New York Magazine. This list includes interior designer Alberto Pinto who worked on Epstein’s $56 million Upper East Side mansion. Interior designer Muriel Brandolini was also named as well as fashion icons Vera Wang and Naomi Campbell; and architects Peter Marino, David Rockwell, Jean-Michel Gathy, and Ricardo Legorreta.
Resort designer Edward Tuttle was listed as the architect of the “main house” on Epstein’s Little St. James Island, completed in 2003. Also in 2019, architect Neri Oxman was tied up in the scandal when it was revealed that Jeffrey Epstein had supported MIT Media Lab, where Oxman is a high-ranking faculty member. Other powerful figures implicated are Leon Black, former MoMA chairman; and hedge fund billionaire-slash-art collector Glenn Dubin.
In addition to finding “adult professional massage therapists for Jeffrey,” Maxwell said her role entailed hiring architects for Epstein, but didn’t say any names. “My job included hiring many people,” she said on page 49 of the 943-page document. “There were six homes. As I sit here, I hired assistants, I hired architects, I hired decorators, I hired cooks, I hired cleaners, I hired gardeners, I hired pool people, I hired pilots, I hired all sorts of people.”
Over 100 names were listed in the court document. Being listed however doesn’t legally mean any wrongdoing, and charges haven’t been brought, as of now, to those incriminated.