- New York-based financier Jeffrey Epstein was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of sex trafficking minors. He pleaded not guilty on July 8.
- Epstein’s life has been put under the microscope over the past few days. This has included his relationships with high-profile figures such as President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton, and Les Wexner, CEO and founder of Victoria’s Secret owner L Brands.
- Wexner was reportedly one of Epstein’s first clients and gave him the power of fiduciary over all of his private trusts and foundations. In this lawsuit filed in 2002 by the late artist Nelson Shanks, the two men were described as “close personal friends.”
- Epstein lived in one of Wexner’s former homes in Manhattan.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
66-year-old financier Jeffrey Epstein was arrested outside an airport in New Jersey on Saturday on suspicion of sex trafficking underage girls in the early 2000s.
The indictment alleges that Epstein molested dozens of underage girls between the years of 1999 and 2005, paying them for “massages” that turned into sexual abuse. Epstein pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday.
Epstein’s life has been put under the microscope over the past few days. This has included his relationships with high-profile figures such as President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton, and Les Wexner, CEO and founder of Victoria’s Secret owner L Brands.
Wexner is a particularly pertinent character in the story as he is reportedly one of Epstein’s only known clients and is considered to be part of the reason that Epstein rose to prominence. In a lawsuit filed in 2002 by the late artist Nelson Shanks, the two men were described as “close personal friends.”
A spokesperson for Wexner told Business Insider this week that the businessman cut ties with Epstein years ago.
‘People have said it’s like we have one brain between two of us: each has a side’
Epstein left New York-based investment bank Bear Stearns 1981 to start his own firm, which exclusively managed the money of billionaires.
“I was the only person crazy enough, or arrogant enough, or misplaced enough, to make my limit a billion dollars or more,” he has frequently said, according to a Vanity Fair report from 2011.
While Epstein denied that Wexner “made him,” Wexner was one of his first clients; the two men came into contact in the mid- to late 1980s, when Wexner was already a well-established retail leader and had built up a $US3 billion business, according to Vanity Fair.
Epstein was responsible for managing Wexner’s money and was later given the power of fiduciary over all of his private trusts and foundations.
“Wexner saw in Jeffrey the type of person who had the potential to realise his [Jeffrey’s] dreams,” a person who worked closely with both men told Vanity Fair. “He gave Jeffrey the ball, and Jeffrey hit it out of the park.”
One Wall Streeter described it as a “weird relationship” in an interview with New York Magazine in 2002.
“It’s just not typical for someone of such enormous wealth to all of a sudden give his money to some guy most people have never heard of.” The Wexner-Epstein relationship is indeed a multifaceted one,” he said.
“People have said it’s like we have one brain between two of us: each has a side,” Epstein previously said, according to Vanity Fair.
It was a relationship so strong that Wexner reportedly passed on his Manhattan home to Epstein.
The house, which was recently valued at $US77 billion by Bloomberg and is believed to be the largest private residence in Manhattan, was bought by Wexner for $US13.2 million, through one of his trusts, in 1989.
Epstein later moved in after Wexner and his wife, Abigail, moved to Ohio, where L Brands’ headquarters is based, in 1996. According to Bloomberg, Wexner’s trust transferred ownership of the house to Epstein in 2011 – for $US0.
Epstein lived in this Manhattan townhouse up until the time of his arrest, and prosecutors are in the process of seizing the house.
In April, Maria Farmer claimed that she was sexually assaulted by Epstein and his alleged madam, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, on different occasions in the 1990s, The Daily Beast reported. Farmer said that one of these occasions was while she stayed at Wexner’s Ohio mansion.
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