Speculation surrounding Brad Pitt’s love life has increased over the past few months. He is said to be getting close to a woman named Neri Oxman. According to People Magazine, the movie star has been spending time with Oxman, who works as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Pitt was first spotted with Oxman, 41, back in November, when he attended one of her classes at MIT. At the time, Pitt posed with students and several posted photos of him to social media. Now, some of those photos have been uncovered and Pitt dating rumors have started to surface once more.
A source told Page Six that Pitt and Oxman are “just friends.”
“Their friendship has not turned into romance… as both are cautious and this is, again, more of a professional friendship. But Brad is very interested in spending more time with Neri, she is fascinating,” the source explained.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Met Pitt Through an MIT Architecture Project & Teaches Classes on Design, Architecture & Material Ecology at the School
Oxman met Pitt during an architecture project through MIT. The two started talking and realized that they had a lot in common.
“Brad and Neri instantly hit it off because they share the same passion for architecture, design and art. This is best described as a professional friendship,” a source told Page Six TV.
Oxman is a professor at MIT. She teaches courses on design, architecture, and material ecology — the latter being a term that she coined herself.
“Oxman is the Sony Corporation Career Development Professor and Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab, where she founded and directs the Mediated Matter research group. Her team conducts research at the intersection of computational design, digital fabrication, materials science and synthetic biology, and applies that knowledge to design across disciplines and scales—from the micro scale to the building scale,” reads part of her bio on MIT’s Media Lab website.
Some of her work can be seen at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), as well as other art museums in the country, where her collections have found permanent homes.
Her most well-known work is The Silk Pavilion, which she created in 2003 using robotics and live silkworms.
Over the course of her career, she has been honored with several awards, including the Vilcek Prize in Design in 2014, the MIT Collier Medal in 2016, and the Carnegie “Pride of America” Award in 2014, to name a few.
You can watch Oxman’s 2015 TED Talk in the video below.
2. She Might Be Dating a Billionaire & Was Previously Married to a Composer
Despite the romance rumors of a Brad Pitt love affair, Oxman has been linked to billionaire Bill Ackman, a hedge fund manager from New York.
“Ackman — who has been battling to reassure investors of his hedge fund Pershing Square after losses — has been seeing Oxman for seven months, we are told. … [Last year], Ackman was divorcing his wife Karen Ann Herskovitz after 25 years of marriage. He has recently been seen visiting Oxman at MIT at the weekends, as well as spending time with his other family members who live in Boston. Ackman’s rep declined to comment,” Page Six reported.
Ackman, the founder of Pershing Square Capital Management, has an estimated net worth of $1.09 billion, according to Forbes. He obtained a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and went on to study business administration at Harvard Business School, where he obtained his master’s. The 51-year-old has three children with his ex-wife.
“I’m not a mother of children but I’m a different type of mother where my approach to design is more in line with nature. It’s less about dictating and more about editing and listening and allowing something to grow. So I nourish and let the material express what it wants to be,” she told the outlet.
3. She Was Born in Israel & She Attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem & the Technion Institute in Haifa
Oxman was born in Israel. Her father, Robert, is American and her mother, Rivka, is Israeli — both are architects, according to People Magazine.
She attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she was enrolled in the Department of Medical Sciences. She went on to attend the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, where she obtained her diploma from the Architectural Association.
After graduation, Oxman moved to the United States to complete her PhD in design computation as a Presidential Fellow at MIT.
“Neri immigrated to the United States in 2005 to study under her mentor and world-renowned design theoretician, the late Prof. William J. Mitchell, and she has remained at MIT ever since. In 2011, she married the Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov, winner of the 2008 Vilcek Prize for Music,” reads her bio on the Vilcek Foundation’s website.
4. She Was Named 1 of the 50 Most Influential Jews by The Jerusalem Post in 2016
Oxman has made the news over the years. For example, in 2016, The Jerusalem Post named in its list of “50 Most Influential Jews.”
“She was noted for ‘rocketing past old ideas of how things should be designed and assembled, taking inspiration from nature to revolutionize how objects can be designed and built,'” according to the outlet. She was No. 42 on the outlet’s list.
Additionally, Oxman is well-known amongst Boston’s elite. In 2012, she made the Boston Globe’s list of 25 Most Stylish Bostonians.
5. Some Say That She Resembles Pitt’s ex, Angelina Jolie
For many, there is no denying that Oxman is a stunning woman. Some have even gone so far as to compare her looks to those of Pitt’s ex-wife, Angelina Jolie.
Pitt split from Jolie in 2016. She filed for divorce in September of that year, citing irreconcilable differences. He and Jolie are parents to six kids, three of whom are adopted.
Since his split, Pitt has been linked to a number of women, including Kate Hudson and Jennifer Lawrence. He has not gone public with any romantic relationship since his divorce was announced.