L Brands, the parent company to Victoria’s Secret, was sued over claims of ‘toxic culture of sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation’

  • L Brands Inc., the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, is being sued for records by a shareholder over the company’s alleged “toxic culture,” Bloomberg Law reported Thursday.
  • John Giarratano filed the lawsuit in Delaware demanding the company address claims of sexual harassment among senior leaders.
  • The lawsuit also mentions the company’s ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who served as a “personal advisor” to former L Brands CEO Les Wexner.
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L Brands Inc., the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, is facing a lawsuit for records that alleges a “toxic culture” that has “plagued” the company “for years”, Bloomberg Law reported Thursday.

The lawsuit was filed in Delaware by L Brands shareholder John Giarratano on Thursday with the intention of getting records and investigating the company in relation to its alleged “toxic culture of sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation” among senior leaders.

“While the brand has come under scrutiny in recent years for its ‘porny’ image and portrayal of women as sex objects, the public could not have predicted the depths of wrongdoing,” the lawsuit says. “Victoria’s Secret is in urgent need of reform.”

According to the court docket, Giarratano served a demand to L Brands in light of a report by The New York Times published in early February detailing a misogynistic culture at Victoria’s Secret.

He alleges L Brand’s board of directors failed “to investigate and take appropriate action in response to complaints of sexual harassment,” as well as “the lack of independence” of board members from L Brands CEO Les Wexner. Wexner stepped down as CEO in late February after nearly six decades at the head of the company.

The document stated that the company agreed to the demand but failed to produce related documents, and “has been completely silent” since April 3.

“This stonewalling is all the more disappointing given that recent reporting has made clear that Victoria’s Secret is in urgent need of reform,” the court document stated.

Among a slew of allegations, the suit also includes mention of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and his ties to the company.

Epstein was charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. He was awaiting trial and held at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in New York, where he died by suicide last July.

Wexner had previously employed Epstein as a personal advisor and later attempted to distance himself from the disgraced New York financier in light of the charges filed last year. An investigation by The Times revealed Epstein’s misconduct posing as a model “recruiter” for Victoria’s Secret.

The L Brands board of directors hired a firm to investigate Epstein’s role at the company, according to reports, and in September of last year, Wexner addressed his ties to Epstein at an L Brands’ investor meeting.

“At some point in your life we are all betrayed by friends,” Wexner said. “Being taken advantage of by someone who was so sick, so cunning, so depraved, is something that I’m embarrassed I was even close to. But that is in the past.”

L Brands did not immediately respond to a request for comment.