Hacked Sony Emails: Did Matt Damon Help a Kid Get into Harvard?
Thousands of private emails hacked from Sony Pictures by the so-called group Guardians of Peace late last year are now publicly available in a searchable database, thanks to the folks at WikiLeaks. The content of the emails, including racists remarks and evidence of a gender pay gap, led to the departure of co-chair Amy Pascal in February.
Sony Pictures has strongly condemned WikiLeaks’ actions, taking issue with founder Julian Assange’s assertion that the emails should be public due to Sony’s position as a “strong lobbyist on issues around internet policy, piracy, trade agreements and copyright issues.”
“The attackers used the dissemination of stolen information to try to harm SPE and its employees, and now WikiLeaks regrettably is assisting them in that effort,” a Sony Pictures spokesperson said in a statement. “We vehemently disagree with WikiLeaks’ assertion that this material belongs in the public domain and will continue to fight for the safety, security, and privacy of our company and its more than 6,000 employees.”
Actor and Cambridge native Matt Damon makes several appearances in the email dump, using an unusual email address: email@example.com. Never mind that someone—anyone—still uses EarthLink as recently as 2013, but is Damon masquerading as Gerry Woo, the man behind the 1988 hit “How Long,” winner of NBC’s short-lived 2003 American Idol knock-off, Fame?
If so, then that means in one email, Damon responds to Pascal’s all-caps missive and mentions hanging out with (Tom?) Hanks, and in another email, Damon mentions February 7, the release date for The Monuments Men, and invites Pascal to his and Ben Affleck’s charity fundraiser.
“No press. No pictures. No shitty charity event. Fun and gambling and good people and saving lives,” the email reads. You know, the usual.
One of the more notable emails sent from firstname.lastname@example.org suggests that Damon reached out to Harvard President Drew Faust in November 2013 to recommend Sam Koppelman, son of Ocean’s Thirteen writer Brian Koppelman, for admission.
Damon mentions Sam’s Huffington Post blog, which his father tweeted a link to in 2011. Evidently the letter worked (or Sam was qualified all his own), as he is now a writer for the Crimson, Harvard’s student newspaper.
Of course, Damon’s letter of recommendation was met with a healthy amount of skepticism from Harvard. In this email, Jacoba K. von Gimborn, Harvard’s Executive Coordinator to the Vice President for Alumni Affairs and Development, apparently questions its authenticity to Harvard Board of Overseers member and current Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton, to which Tamara Rogers allegedly replied, “That is Matt Damon’s email address.”
How do you like them apples?