Hedge-fund billionaire Paul Tudor Jones took the unusual step of explaining his relationship with Harvey Weinstein, after a report indicated that Mr. Jones supported the disgraced Hollywood mogul as sexual harassment allegations unfolded earlier this year.
In a letter to employees Wednesday, Mr. Jones wrote: ”Please also understand that I first learned about the revelations about Harvey only as they began to be reported in the media. They were 100% a surprise to me.”
Mr. Jones, 63 years old, referred to Mr. Weinstein’s actions as “horribly wrong” and described the entertainment executive as “a friend I believed too long and defended too long,” according to the letter, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
“Perhaps in your own life you have faced a similar dilemma—how to react to a friend who is revealed to be someone other than the person you believed him or her to be,” Mr. Jones wrote.
Mr. Jones is founder of Tudor Investment Corp., one of the hedge-fund industry’s most well-known firms. He made a fortune off the 1987 stock market crash, becoming a Wall Street star nearly overnight, but only rarely speaks in public.
He served on the board of Weinstein Co. until October, when the New York Times and others published reports on alleged financial settlements Mr. Weinstein paid to women who accused him of sexual misconduct. Mr. Weinstein has denied allegations of nonconsensual sex.
The Times reported late Tuesday that Mr. Jones expressed loyalty to Mr. Weinstein in a personal email sent Oct. 7—two days after the first reports.
“I love you,” Mr. Jones wrote to Mr. Weinstein, according to the report. “Focus on the future as America loves a great comeback story.”
He added: “The good news is, this will go away sooner than you think and it will be forgotten!”
The incident marks the second time in recent years that Mr. Jones has been in a gender-related imbroglio.
In 2013, he told an audience of college students that it was difficult for mothers to be successful investors because of the potential for distraction, adding “as soon as that baby’s lips touched that girl’s bosom, forget it.”
He later softened those remarks, saying they were specific to “global macro traders, who are on-call 24/7.”
Write to Rob Copeland at [email protected]