HELENA, Mont. – The family friend of Greg Mortenson who has stepped in to run the Central Asia Institute while the “Three Cups of Tea” co-author is hospitalized promised Wednesday “full transparency” into how the charity’s finances are managed.
Mortenson has been hospitalized in Bozeman and is awaiting surgery next week for a hole in his aortic ventricular wall. He checked into the hospital in the aftermath of reports by “60 Minutes” and author Jon Krakauer that Mortenson lied about events in several parts of his best-selling book and may have financially benefited from the Central Asia Institute.
Anne Beyersdorfer, an independent public relations professional from Washington, D.C., has volunteered to run the Central Asia Institute’s operations while Mortenson is hospitalized.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Beyersdorfer declined to speak about Mortenson’s condition, but she said he has been overly extended for months and “all that is in in his heart is the mission and the kids.”
“He is an amazing human being. He’ll be OK. He has a broader perspective than most people I know. We will let him heal and he will probably see this as a teaching experience,” she said.
She said attorneys for the Central Asia Institute have spoken with Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock’s office, which opened an inquiry into the charity after the reports surfaced questioning how its finances have been managed. She pledged cooperation with Bullock and his staff and said financial information going back years are posted on the charity’s website.