UPDATE: Jeffrey Epstein has been found dead in his jail cell.
The court documents about the lawsuits brought against Jeffrey Epstein that a judge ordered to be unsealed have been released and they contain explosive new allegations of a vast operation to get underage girls to perform sex act on Epstein and his friends and associates. The Daily Beast has gone through the 2,000 pages of unsealed documents and provided some of the most sensational findings.
It is very sordid stuff. What is noteworthy is that the documents contain the testimony of low-level employees of Epstein and his friends and associates who saw what was going on and can corroborate some of the testimony of the girls who have come forward. The scale of the activities was so vast that the claims of the people who liked to hobnob with Epstein on his planes and his multiple homes that they had no idea at all that young women were being used for sex is hardly credible, even if they themselves did not take part.
You can read all the sordid details yourself about all the celebrities involved. One item that jumped out at me was the item about celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowiitz. Dershowitz has furiously denied any allegations that he even knew what was going on and threatened to sue anyone who says otherwise. But his own admissions of the level of his involvement has bordered on the farcical, saying that while he did get a massage, it was given by an old Russian woman and that he kept his underwear on the whole time and besides he did not like getting massages anyway.
Meanwhile, I have been more focused on how Epstein made his money and finally billionaire Les Wexner, who gave him his start by hiring him as his advisor in the mid-19080s, has finally spoken out. Wexner was initially so taken up with Epstein that he gave him full power of attorney and allowed him to make major decisions in his name in his business. Wexner may have even transferred the title of his New York mansion to Epstein for a pittance.
The billionaire behind the Victoria’s Secret lingerie chain has said that financierand accused child abuser Jeffrey Epstein “misappropriated” more than $46m of his personal fortune, according to a report.
Leslie Wexner, the founder and chief executive of L Brands Inc, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, said money went missing a decade ago, according to a letter to the Wexner Foundation, seen by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
It was reportedly discovered the funds were missing after he decided to sever ties with Epstein in 2007. Wexner wrote that he began to cut ties with the financier after allegations against Epstein surfaced in 2006 involving sexual abuse of underage girls.
“I am embarrassed that, like so many others, I was deceived by Mr Epstein,” Wexner said in his letter. “I know now that my trust in him was grossly misplaced and I deeply regret having ever crossed his path.”
But it is still not clear how the strong bond between the two men became forged.
Wexner was Epstein’s central client for years; he granted Epstein an enormous amount of trust and authority. But the bond between the two men has always been shrouded in mystery.
“It’s a weird relationship,” one Wall Streeter who reportedly knew Epstein told New York for its profile of Epstein in 2002. “It’s just not typical for someone of such enormous wealth to all of a sudden give his money to some guy most people have never heard of.” That profile also described Wexner as Epstein’s “mentor.”
The Journal estimates that Epstein’s years controlling Wexner’s finances — including matters like arranging his prenuptial agreement and helping to handle investments, netted him at least $200 million. The Journal puts his entire fortune at more than half a billion dollars.
This article profiles the rise of Wexner. He comes across as a very sharp businessman who built up a huge clothing retail empire. Why such a shrewd man, while still in his fifties, would become so enamored of a young man that he gave him so much power over his own business empire still remains a mystery.