July 11, 2019


Before hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein went to jail in Florida more than a decade ago, billionaire L Brands founder and Chairman Les Wexner was trying to distance himself from the accused child molester.

That didn’t stop Epstein in 2008 from essentially bankrolling one of Wexner’s first nonprofit foundations with a contribution of more than $40 million in stock and other assets. The transactions were received only months before Epstein was sentenced to a term in a Palm Beach County jail on a charge of soliciting an underage prostitute.

Related: Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brand’s stock drops on ties between CEO Les Wexner and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

Epstein’s New York City mansion, where prosecutors say they found a trove of naked pictures of underage girls last weekend, was once owned by Wexner. He reportedly transferred the home for as little as a dollar to Epstein, his onetime financial adviser.

Perhaps all investors need to know about how Victoria’s Secret has adapted to the marketing realities of today’s Me Too movement is this: The investor relations page for corporate parent L Brands is headed by a picture of eight young, lingerie-clad women. At the center of the image is model Taylor Hill, who began posing for Victoria’s Secret at 18. She is now 23. The picture was taken in early 2015.

L Brands owns Victoria’s Secret, yes, but it’s not the company’s only brand. It also owns the beauty products retailer Bath & Body Works, which these days is its fastest growing chain of stores. Yet there are no pictures of soap or fragrances on L Brand’s main investor relations page, just the image of women in their underwear.

To be fair, that’s from CBS News, which has had its own #MeToo issues.

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