- Les Wexner is the CEO and founder of L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret.
- Recently the billionaire has come under scrutiny for his ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who was arrested and charged with sex trafficking earlier this month.
- Though Wexner expressed regret for having worked with Epstein, the two reportedly had a close relationship in the early 2000s. The former financier once tried to gift the CEO with a $339,000 portrait, which sparked a 2002 lawsuit that described the two as "close personal friends."
- Former L Brands executives told The Wall Street Journal that Epstein also tried to meddle in the selection of Victoria’s Secret models.
- L Brands recently hired an outside law firm to review the company’s relationship with Epstein.
- Here’s the story of Wexner’s rise from a small business owner to a billionaire CEO — and his complicated relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.
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With an estimated net worth of $4.7 billion, he is one of America’s longest-serving CEOs, according to Forbes.
Recently Wexner has come under scrutiny for his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, his former financial advisor. The two were described as "close personal friends" in a 2002 lawsuit.
Wexner’s relationship with Epstein was deep-rooted and problematic, a Wall Street Journal report said. Throughout the two-decades-long relationship, Wexner reportedly paid Epstein millions of dollars in fees and involved the financier in his family matters.
Epstein also reportedly meddled in the model selection process for Victoria’s Secret, The New York Times reported. Though Wexner has said he regrets any association with Epstein, the two have an entangled past. The question of Wexner’s relationship with Epstein has been heightened in the wake of Epstein’s sex-trafficking charges.
Wexner wasn’t always a billionaire, however. He was born in Dayton, Ohio, to Russian immigrants, attended The Ohio State University, and served in the Air National Guard. He then went to work in his parents’ business, a small store called Leslie’s, starting him on the path to retail.
This is the story of how Wexner went from his first serious go at retail with The Limited to his leap to billionaire CEO of L Brands — and ultimately to his entanglement with Epstein:
Leslie "Les" Wexner was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1937 to Russian immigrants. Wexner attended The Ohio State University and served in the Air National Guard. He then went to work in his parents’ business, a small store called Leslie’s.
AP Photo/Matt Sullivan
Source: L Brands
In 2013, Wexner donated $100 million to his alma mater. He would serve on the university’s Board of Trustees for two terms throughout his life.
Source: Jewish Business News
Though Wexner initially planned to pursue a career in law, he decided to enter the field of fashion retail. In 1963, he took a $5,000 loan from his aunt to open his own store called The Limited, which focused on selling only a few types of inexpensive clothing and competed with his parents’ store.
- Jeffrey Epstein reportedly lived the life of a billionaire thanks to hand-me-downs from Victoria’s Secret head Les Wexner
- The rise and fall of Victoria’s Secret, America’s most famous lingerie retailer
- Jeffrey Epstein reportedly tried to meddle in selecting Victoria’s Secret models, and now the firm is investigating