Angels and Demons’ Exposes Les Wexner, the Mysterious Billionaire Behind Jeffrey Epstein
How did Jeffrey Epstein, the notorious child predator and sex trafficker, amassed his huge fortune? Yes, the late money manager rubbed shoulders with everyone since Bill Gates and Bill Clinton arrive Prince Andrew and Donald Trumpbut as the new Hulu docuseries Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons (July 14) said that one of the biggest certified sources of money is none other than billionaire Les Wexner, “Merlin of the Mall”.
Wexner, a gentle man with elf-like features (pictured with Ben Gazzara), is hardly a role model for luxury. Despite being the man behind retail giant L Brands — whose portfolio at one point included retailers The Limited, Abercrombie & Fitch, Express, Lane Bryant, Henri Bendel, Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret — Wexner maintains a relatively low profile in his hometown of Ohio, far from the prying lens of the paparazzi.
All that seems to have changed around the time Epstein entered his life in the mid-1980s. The 40th Wexner dyed his hair and upgraded his wardrobe. His ceremonies are now attended by Epstein’s celebrity acquaintances. In 1985, Wexner published the cover of New York magazine with the headline “Bachelor Billionaire.” And in 1989, according to a piece In washington articlesA Wexner diary entry dated September 1, 1989, wrote: “Finally I like myself.”
Weeks before Epstein died in his cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, The New York Times published an eye-opening exhibition details Wexner’s relationship with Epstein. The report revealed, among other things, that Wexner was Epstein’s only publicly known billionaire client; that Epstein had purchased the Manhattan townhouse, private jet (later dubbed the “Lolita Express”) and other properties from Wexner at a large discount; Wexner allegedly waited 18 months to cut ties with Epstein after he was arrested for child prostitution in 2006; and the Oregon attorney general’s investigation says that Victoria’s Secret directly assisted Epstein’s legal defense in 2006, voluntarily providing information against one of Epstein’s accusers, who worked for for Victoria’s Secret. (A statement from Wexner in the film claims that Wexner severed ties with Epstein in 2008 and was unaware of his abusive practices.)
Matt Tyrnauer, director of Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons. “Then more troubling details emerged – including that he had a power of attorney that gave him access to large amounts of Wexner’s assets.”
Indeed, in a highly unusual move, Wexner, now 84, granted a power of attorney to Epstein in 1991 stating that Times Epstein reportedly “allowed Mr. Epstein to hire, sign checks, buy and sell property, and borrow money” on Wexner’s behalf, and that Epstein had been granted “full authority and authority to do and take all necessary action.” for him. Wexner also told Vanity Fair in 2003 that Epstein “was highly intelligent with a combination of excellent judgment and unusually high standards. In addition, he has always been a most loyal friend.”
Like Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons revealed, Epstein got caught up in Wexner’s life, served as a trustee for his charity (which went as far as to push his mother out of it) and was even tasked find a nanny for him after his marriage to Abigail Koppel. At one point, Epstein lived in a guest mansion adjacent to Wexner in New Albany, Ohio, a small town with Georgian-style homes that Wexner had designed to his specifications (Epstein) allegedly bought the house from Wexner for $3.5 million). And in that house is where Maria Farmer, a young artist from New York, alleges that she was molested by both Epstein and his accomplice was Ghislaine Maxwellwho was then recently sentenced to 20 years behind bars for sex trafficking of girls for Epstein.
Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons asserted that Farmer was confined to a room in Epstein’s New Albany home and was so frightened that she piled things up on the door to prevent Epstein and Maxwell from entering the room. The film says that she tried to report it to the local police at the time – who had ties to the Wexner family, as they essentially ran the town – as well as the FBI, to no avail.
“Epstein was living next door to Wexner and one of his most sinister crimes seemed to happen behind the very dignified Georgian facade of this massive guesthouse…“
“Epstein was living next door to Wexner, and one of his most heinous crimes seemed to happen behind the very dignified Georgian façade of this grand guesthouse,” Tyrnauer explains. “That scene was remarkable. It’s almost like a David Lynch movie where everything is striving to be just too perfect, and when you look closer, you see the grass isn’t greener, and in this case, bad things have happened. out with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in this house. was introduced in Architectural Notice like this super mansion on the plains of Ohio. “
Epstein is also alleged to have taken advantage of his relationship with Wexner by posing as a recruiter for Victoria’s Secret models. Cindy Fedus-Fields, former CEO of Victoria’s Secret Direct, says in the film, “In the spring or summer of ’93, it was reported to Les. [Wexner] that a man had traveled all over New York City and described himself as a recruiter for models in the Victoria’s Secret catalog. That’s Jeffrey Epstein. And Les said he would stop it. I don’t believe the behavior has stopped. I believe it continues. (Wexner’s attorneys claim Wexner forbade Epstein to act in such a fashion.)
Alicia Arden, an actress who has appeared on Baywatch and in Playboy, which declares that the behavior has not stopped. She said in an interview in the film that she met Epstein in 1997 at the Shutters Hotel in Santa Monica for what she thought was a Victoria’s Secret audition, only for him to ask her to dress up. bra and panties before groping her ass and trying to give her $100. She alleges that she “felt like a prostitute,” and that she later filed a sex report against him.
When Epstein died in 2019, he left behind an estimated fortune of $600 million — only $125 million of which was distributed to his victims. And then Times about his relationship with Epstein, Wexner presented and, in a letter to the Wexner Foundation, broke his relative silence about his Epstein relationship by saying the crime The late sex offender “appropriated a large amount of money” from him totaling about $46 million.
Meanwhile, Sarah Ellison, a Washington Post reporter interviewed in Victoria’s Secret: Angels and DemonsWexner estimated Wexner paid Epstein about $400 million over the course of their business relationship.
“Wexner is known to be a litigator, but wouldn’t he go after Epstein for stealing millions and millions of dollars?” Ellison asks in the movie. “To allow this level of betrayal and dishonesty to go unpunished is completely inexplicable.”
Tyrnauer is still confused as to how Epstein, a former high school math teacher who was fired by Bear Stearns for financial violations and was later connected to Towers Financial Corp’s Ponzi scheme, was able to won Wexner’s trust to the point that he had power of attorney and control of his large fortune.
“I think there have been three great con artists of the last hundred years: Roy Cohn, the subject of an earlier film of mine; his mentor, Donald Trump; and Epstein,” Tyrnauer provided. “The scam was massive and went down right under people’s noses.”