New allegations against Bath & Body Works founder and art collector Leslie Wexner have emerged from the unsealed civil lawsuit brought against the late Jeffrey Epstein by an alleged victim of sex trafficking.
According to recently unsealed court documents, Virginia Giuffre, who in 2015 accused Epstein and his partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, of coercing her into sexual encounters with powerful politicians and businessmen, claims to have had sex with Wexner on multiple occasions. While the 2015 civil lawsuit was settled in 2017, last month U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska of the Southern District of New York released the names and related documents from the case. Wexner was among the names included in the documents.
He, nor any other powerful figures listed, have been charged with a crime. Per the Columbus Dispatch, the list represents potential witnesses, plaintiffs, victims, or business links to Epstein and—or—Maxwell, who is serving 20 years in federal prison for her involvement in Epstein’s sex trafficking operation.
The unsealed documents include a 2016 deposition that Giuffre provided in a separate lawsuit in which she was questioned about claims that Epstein trafficked her to prominent figures in politics and business, including Wexner.
Wexner previously denied any wrongdoing and denounced any knowledge of Epstein’s criminal activity.
Wexner, founder of the retail empire Bath & Body Works Inc, formerly known as L Brands, is a major collector of artists associated with the New York School—such as Wilem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and Lee Krasner—as well as Pablo Picasso. He and his wife Abigail also funded the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University. Both Wexner and another collector named in the court documents, Glenn Dubin, have appeared on the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list. The connections between the billionaires and Epstein were already publicly known before the release of the unsealed documents on January 3.
As early as 2002, a feature in New York Magazine described a “weird relationship” between Wexner and Epstein, including their involvement in a high-end housing development in New Albany, Ohio, where they both had residences. The project was financed predominantly by Wexner, however Epstein was also made a general partner “despite putting only a few million dollars of capital into the project,” per the article.
In 2019, the New York Times published an investigation that described Wexner granting Epstein “sweeping powers” over the his finances, charitable giving, and personal expenses. The move included signing Wexner’s tax returns and borrowing money on his behalf, in addition to obtaining luxury assets valued at roughly $100 million.
The post “Unsealed Jeffrey Epstein Documents Brings New Allegations Against Collector Leslie Wexner” by Tessa Solomon was published on 01/11/2024 by www.artnews.com