The Billionaire behind Victoria’s Secret says he’s “embarrassed” by his prior relationship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who helped manage his finances.
Les Wexner, CEO, and founder of the L Brands company had previously entrusted Epstein to manage millions of dollars for him during the 1980s and 2000s, before cutting ties, reported Business Insider.
According to the New York Times, Epstein allegedly posed as a talent scout for Victoria’s Secret in an attempt to lure young women into having sex.
One model, Alicia Arden, who was 27-years-old at the time, claims Epstein, after claiming to be a recruiter for the company, invited her to his Santa Monica hotel room to audition.
Upon arrival, Ardern claims Epstein tried to undress her while saying he wanted to “manhandle” her. Arden then says she left in tears.
Epstein had also obtained a private plane and two mansions from Wexner during his employment.
“Everyone has to feel enormous regret for the advantage that was taken of so many young women,” Wexner told analysts at a recent investor meeting.
“That’s just unexplainable, abhorrent behavior, and clearly is something we all would condemn.”
“At some point in your life we are all betrayed by friends,” continued Wexner, “people have secret lives” and hide them so well they can have relationships without revealing their “peculiar” behavior.
“Being taken advantage of by someone who was so sick, so cunning, so deprived is something that I’m embarrassed that I was even close to,” he added.
Epstein, after being arrested on sex trafficking charges for allegedly paying many underage girls—some as young as 14—to engage in sexual acts, was later found dead in his jail cell.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Wexner denies any knowledge of Epstein’s alleged activity, “I would never have guessed that a person I employed more than a decade ago could have caused such pain to so many people,”
“I have searched my soul—reflected—and regretted that my path ever crossed his,” he added.
Tammy Roberts Myers, a spokesperson for L Brands, said in a statement, “While Mr. Epstein served as Mr. Wexner’s personal money manager for a period that ended nearly 12 years ago, we do not believe he was ever employed by nor served as an authorized representative of the company.”
In a letter to his foundation, Wexner claims that, during his employment, Epstein “misappropriated vast sums of money” from him and his family.