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Steve Cohen says his family got threats after his hedge fund bailed out GameStop short-seller

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Billionaire New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has spoken out after appearing to quit Twitter, saying his family received threats over his hedge fund’s bailout of a short seller who was burned by the ‘Wolves of Reddit.’

‘I’ve really enjoyed the back and forth with Mets fans on Twitter which was unfortunately overtaken this week by misinformation unrelated to the Mets that led to our family getting personal threats,’ Cohen said in a statement on Saturday.

‘So I’m going to take a break for now. We have other ways to listen to your suggestions and remain committed to doing that,’ he added, without specifying who had issued the threats to his family.

Cohen, 64, and his wife Alexandra have four daughters together, and he also has two older children with his first wife. He is intensely private about his family life, and little is known about his children. 

Billionaire New York Mets owner Steve Cohen says his family faced threats over his role in the GameStop saga. He is seen above with wife Alexandra

Billionaire New York Mets owner Steve Cohen says his family faced threats over his role in the GameStop saga. He is seen above with wife Alexandra

Cohen issued a statement on Saturday saying he is taking a break from Twitter

Cohen issued a statement on Saturday saying he is taking a break from Twitter

Cohen was sucked into the drama around GameStop this week, after his $19 billion hedge fund, Point72, participated in a $2.75 billion bailout of Melvin Capital, which faced ruin after betting heavily against the struggling video game retailer.

Shares of GameStop rallied a staggering 1,800 percent in January, after an army of small investors banded together to buy up shares in a movement that originated on the Reddit forum WallStreetBets, where amateur traders share stock opinions.

The campaign inflicted billions in damage on hedge fund short sellers, including Melvin, which is run by Cohen’s protege Gabe Plotkin. 

Point72 already had roughly $1 billion under management with Melvin, and Cohen’s fund suffered 15 percent losses across the board in January as Melvin’s bets tanked, according to the New York Times.

Cohen’s previous hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors, was disbanded after the firm pleaded guilty to insider trading charges in 2013 and paid $1.8 billion in penalties — though Cohen himself escaped criminal charges. 

Cohen, 64, and his wife Alexandra (with him above) have four daughters together, and he also has two older children with his first wife. He is intensely private about his family life

Cohen, 64, and his wife Alexandra (with him above) have four daughters together, and he also has two older children with his first wife. He is intensely private about his family life

Cohen, seen with Ms. Met and his wife at Citi Field, bought the Mets last year and had been a freewheeling presence on Twitter, interacting with fans and critics.

Cohen, seen with Ms. Met and his wife at Citi Field, bought the Mets last year and had been a freewheeling presence on Twitter, interacting with fans and critics.

On Monday, as the GameStop crisis mounted, Point72 injected $750 million in rescue funds into Melvin, while Ken Griffin’s Citadel fund contributed $2 billion to the bailout, people familiar with the matter told DailyMail.com.

Though it is unclear whether Cohen himself ever advocated the short-selling positions decried by the Reddit raiders, his ties with Melvin made him a target of ire on Twitter.

Cohen, who bought the New York Mets in November, outflanking Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez to snap up the baseball team, was early in the week seeming to enjoy robust debate about the rollercoaster markets.

‘Rough crowd on Twitter tonight,’ Cohen tweeted Wednesday night. ‘Hey stock jockeys keep bringing it.’

In particular, Barstool Sports founder and amateur day trader Dave Portnoy engaged in a heated exchange with Cohen on Twitter, venting fury after the Robinhood trading app began restricting purchases of GameStop stock.

Cohen had been debating the week's trades with Dave Portnoy, Barstool Sports founder

Cohen had been debating the week’s trades with Dave Portnoy, Barstool Sports founder

Conspiracy theories circulated that hedge funds had pressured Robinhood to restrict the trades, but it later emerged that the online brokerage was struggling to meet cash deposit requirements to cover its users’ traders. 

Citadel Securities, a separate entity from the Citadel fund but also overseen by Griffin, handles order flow from Robinhood, and denied putting any pressure on brokers to limit transactions. 

Robinhood also said it had not acted under pressure from outside entities.

But at the time, Portnoy and others were slinging accusations, demanding that Cohen explain whether he had a role in Robinhood’s restrictions. 

‘Hey Dave , What’s your beef with me,’ Cohen tweeted at Portnoy. ‘I’m just trying to make a living just like you. Happy to take this offline.’

Portnoy finally tweeted: ‘At least you are speaking and trying to answer. That is appreciated.’

By Friday night, Cohen’s account had been deleted. 

Since buying the Mets last year, Cohen had maintained a freewheeling presence on Twitter, engaging with fans and critics alike.

But the events of this week appear to have pushed the billionaire to his limit. 

‘I love our team, this community, and our fans, who are the best in baseball,’ he said in the statement on Saturday. 

‘Bottom line is that this week’s events in no way affect our resources and drive to put a championship team,’ Cohen added.

Many mourned his departure from Twitter, having enjoyed his unusual interaction with Mets fans and unfiltered opinions.

‘Give this to Steve Cohen, he didn’t very loudly announce that he needed a ‘self care social media break’ before logging off,’ tweeted Laura Albanese, a sports reporter with Newsday.

Others took a more comical side, with one tweeting: ‘It’s nice to see Steve Cohen honoring the Mets tradition of giving up after a few months.’ 

This post was first published on DailyMail.

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