(NewsNation) — For more than a decade, Victoria’s Secret has been one of the most famous brands in the world. However, it turns out there was more to the name than people knew.
According to the new Hulu documentary “Victoria’s Secret Angels and Demons”, in the 1980s, the company’s former CEO, Les Wexner, ceded control of his entire multi-billion dollar fortune to Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein reportedly used this wealth and influence to build his own fortune and attract young women who dreamed of one day being Victoria’s Secret models.
NewsNation’s Banfield spoke to a panel of experts who have deep ties to the modeling industry for comment.
“I’m just shocked that he was kept behind closed doors because he was so open within the industry. You had to kind of become his (Epstein’s) friend to be on the show,” said Robyn Lawley, who has graced the covers of the world’s biggest fashion magazines. “I’m just kinda happy it’s finally out and we don’t have to force these young girls to go casting with these creepy men. I don’t know why it took so long.
Lawley said she’s been shunned before for speaking out about the toxicity of the modeling industry, but she says she won’t let that stop her from doing the right thing.
“I have a daughter and I won’t let that happen to my daughter. I don’t let Jeffrey Epstein look at her like he looked at me or other girls, Lawley said.
Wexner reportedly learned of Epstein’s behavior with his models in 1993, but the Victoria’s Secret CEO didn’t officially end his ties with Epstein until a decade and a half later in 2007.
“Wexner had a lot of wealth and Jeffrey had a lot of social connections. The two together were out and about in the company. I mean, I think it’s believed Epstein had about $400 million attributable to Wexner,” said Vanessa Grigoriadis, co-host of the “Fallen Angel” podcast which explores the history of Victoria’s Secret.
Barry Levine, the author of “The Spider: Inside the Criminal Web of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell,” says the new Hulu documentary clarifies that Wexner was tipped off in 1993 that Epstein was posing as a scout for Victoria’s Secret. The Wexner folks say the former CEO took Epstein aside and made it clear he needed to stop immediately.