Son of MIT professor says his father tried to ruin him

Excerpt: Son of MIT professor says his father tried to ruin him

  • John J. Donovan Sr., a former MIT professor, is on trial on charges he faked a shooting in 2005 to gain the upper hand in a battle over family trust funds that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Prosecutors said he then falsely accused his oldest son, James, of hiring would-be killers.
  • James Donovan testified yesterday that his father called him a demon, and said he should be careful because he had young children and a lot to lose. The father warned: “I will ruin you,” James Donovan said.
  • The younger Donovan also told the court that because of the dispute, he moved his family from his house in Hamilton, less than a mile from his father’s second home, to another state.
  • In 2002, one of Donovan’s daughters told her siblings that Donovan had sexually abused her when she was a child. Donovan denies the allegation and has said the accusation is a strategy to gain leverage in the dispute.
  • During the emergency call Donovan made from his cellphone after the shooting, he told a State Police dispatcher that his son laundered $180 million and had threatened to kill him.