The angels and the demon: the dark links between Jeffrey Epstein and Victoria’s Secret
In the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, accused of having been the recruiter of the sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein, a name is missing, that of one of the most famous brands on the planet: Victoria's Secret, the line of lingerie founded in 1977 inSan Francisco by Roy Raymond.The link between the "angels" in bras embedded with diamonds and Epstein?A mysterious billionaire, retail engineering -the "retail" -, named the Wexner, owner of the brand since 1982.
"Jeffrey Epstein had control of Wexner's fortune, estimated at $ 7 billion, for 17 years, from the late 1980s," said Vanity Fair investigative journalist Gabe Sherman.The Wexner would have paid Epstein hundreds of millions of dollars so that he can manage his fortune.The billionaire is, therefore, at the source of that of the businessman, without anyone understanding where the latter had as much power.We will come back.
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"The money that Victoria’s Secret generated is precisely what financed Epstein's sexual trafficking.This is the last piece of the Puzzle of the Epstein affair, "explains Gabe Sherman.Better still, according to Vanessa Grigoriadis, co -author of the Podcast Fallen Angel on the culture established by the lingerie brand, the latter influenced the relationship of the Americans to sexuality.Worse, it has largely contributed to the sexualization of adolescent girls and pre-adolescents.
Birth of an empire
But let's go back to the beginnings.The first Victoria’s Secret boutique opens in June 12, 1977 in the Stanford Shopping Center, a "Mall" in the south of San Francisco.Roy Raymond explained that the idea had come to him because he was tired of the banality of what he found in the lingerie department when he wanted to buy underwear from his wife, Gay.For eight years, he methodically studied the underwear market before launching his own brand, and published a catalog which becomes a cultural phenomenon.When he sells his business at Les Wexner for $ 1 million, Victoria’s Secret has five shops and has a turnover of $ 6 million.The brand is only a marginal player in this sector.Wexner will transform the case into an empire, with 350 stores and an annual turnover of $ 1 billion.In 2002, the King of Retail will even launch a new brand, Pink, for teenagers.
Mais qui est Les Wexner, l’homme le plus riche de l’Ohio, propriétaire d’une autre marque célèbre, Abercrombie & Fitch ? Cet homme né en 1937 – il a 85 ans – a lancé en 1963 sa première boutique The Limited, dans sa ville de Columbus, dans l’Ohio."I created my business to be able to create my own world," Wexner told New York Times.Years later, the one who dreamed of the architect buys thousands of hectares around Columbus to have a fantasy built, his own village inspired by a village of the Georgian era.It was in 1986 that the Wexner met Jeffrey Epstein.Although all the relatives of the billionaire warn him, he falls under the thumb of the predator.Their relationship is so fusional - and inexplicable - that in 2008, during the first trial of Jeffrey Epstein in Florida, Brad Edwards, the lawyer for one of his victims, will officially ask the businessman if his relationshipat the Wexner is sexual.What Epstein will deny.It will be at least financial: in 2019, the Wall Street Journal estimated that its relationship with Wexner had reported to Epstein 200 million dollars.Jerry Merritt, head of security for The Limited for 25 years, estimates the sum at $ 400 million.
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The link between the two men is not only financial.He is double."The man who made the fortune of Jeffrey Epstein is also the one who sold lingerie to young girls and young women whom Epstein coveted," analyzes Vanessa Grigoriadis in his podcast Fallen Angel.This is the perfect vicious circle: the brand that has made the fortune of Epstein is also the one that prepared young girls to be its prey.Besides, the latter uses it to find them.
In 1993, one of the officials of Victoria’s Secret was concerned with the CEO of the brand's catalog, Cynthia Fedus-Fields, that a certain Jeffrey Epstein was pretended to be "recruiter" with young models wishing to appear there.And in 1997, an aspiring model, Alicia Arden, went to drop the police of Santa Monica, California, that she had been attacked in her hotel room by Epstein claiming that he was recruiting models for the famous catalog.Victoria’s Secret was Jeffrey Epstein's true secret.A new loss of fortune for the brand, whose reputation has been in free fall for a few years.Which we do not know if she will be able to get up.