NEW ALBANY, Ohio (WCMH) — In a memo sent to L Brands employees Monday, CEO Les Wexner says he did not know about the criminal behaviors of his former money manager, Jeffrey Epstein.
In the memo, Wexner says he severed ties with Epstein nearly 12 years ago and he “would not have continued to work with any individual capable of such egregious, sickening behavior as has been reported about him.”
I would never have guessed that a person I employed more than a decade ago could have caused such pain to so many people. My heart goes out to each and every person who has been hurt. I severed all ties with Mr. Epstein nearly 12 years ago. I would not have continued to work with any individual capable of such egregious, sickening behavior as has been reported about him. As you can imagine, this past week I have searched my soul … reflected … and regretted that my path ever crossed his.
When Mr. Epstein was my personal money manager, he was involved in many aspects of my financial life. But let me assure you that I was NEVER aware of the illegal activity charged in the indictment.
We all know that what is being reported about Mr. Epstein will receive significant news coverage. I fully expect that this will remain in the news for some time to come. And we don’t know what twists and turns these events will take … but I can assure you that I will continue to act in the company’s best interest as this unfolds, and I ask you to do the same. I am proud that our company has long-held core values – those values have never been more important than today, and I ask that we all wave them higher now than ever before.
Federal prosecutors say Epstein paid underage girls for massages and then molested them at his homes in Florida and New York.
A document filed in a separate but related civil lawsuit describes an incident involving Epstein in the New Albany home of L Brands founder Les Wexner.
In a sworn affidavit, Maria Farmer said she was hired by Epstein to “help him with acquiring art.” She said Epstein arranged for her to work on an “art project” at the home of Les Wexner on Kitzmiller Road in the summer of 1996.
The affidavit is included in a defamation lawsuit filed by Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre against Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.
Giuffre has alleged she was forced by Epstein to have sex with Dershowitz – a claim Dershowitz vehemently denies.
Farmer said Epstein and a female companion, Ghislaine Maxwell, “asked me to come into a bedroom with them and then proceeded to sexually assault me against my will. I fled from the room and called the sheriff’s office but did not get any response. The Wexner’s security staff refused to let me leave the property. I pleaded with them and my father drove up from Kentucky to Ohio to help me. I was held against my will for approximately 12 hours until I was ultimately allowed to leave with my father.”
Farmer says she did report the incident to the FBI.
Around the time he struck his 2008 plea deal, Epstein handed $46 million to a foundation linked to Wexner, a longtime money management client.