Victoria’s Secret’s Leslie H. Wexner is trying to steer clear of the fight between Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz as it gets increasingly ugly.
Giuffre — who has previously made claims that while still a teenager she was a victim of sex trafficking at the hands of Jeffrey Epstein — alleged the disgraced financier and man about town sex trafficked her to a number of high-profile men, including Dershowitz and Prince Andrew, Duke of York.
Dershowitz responded by calling Giuffre a liar, to which Giuffre sued for defamation. The lawyer then countersued Giuffre, claiming that she defamed him in an attempt to extort money from wealthy men, such as Wexner, founder and chairman emeritus of L Brands, parent company to the lingerie empire, and who had links to the late financier. (Epstein controlled Wexner’s billion-dollar fortune for years.)
Dershowitz then asked the courts to force Wexner to testify on the case. In a July letter — which was made public on Monday — Wexner’s attorneys said they had offered a written deposition, “confirming [Dershowitz’s] lack of any relationship whatsoever with Ms. Giuffre,” but said Dershowitz refused. Wexner is now trying to stay out of the matter altogether.
“We have attempted to reasonably resolve these (and other discovery) issues to no avail,” Wexner’s attorneys wrote in court documents filed in the Southern District of New York. “[Dershowitz] has candidly conceded the sole purpose for Mr. Wexner’s deposition is to collaterally attack, with extrinsic evidence, Ms. Giuffre’s credibility. On several occasions, this court has already expressed concerns with [Dershowitz’s] stated strategy and proposed far-ranging discovery from non-parties. It makes good theater, but is not relevant here.”
Wexner’s attorneys went on to say Dershowitz’s extortion claims contained “several unfortunate misstatements as to the timing and actual service of the subpoenas to create a misleading narrative….No extortion demand was ever made, no settlement was entered into, and not a penny (or other consideration) was ever paid. Just the opposite is true for Mr. Wexner, however. He had no involvement, and thus lacks any personal knowledge relating to, [Dershowitz’s] so-called ‘extortion claim.’”
On Monday, judge Loretta Preska ordered attorneys from all parties to confer and report back to the courts by letter no later than Aug. 13. A video teleconference hearing is set for Aug. 17.
L Brands would not comment on the pending litigation.
Meanwhile, L Brands stock continues to trend upward after the company, which includes the Bath & Body Works brand, laid out plans last month to trim roughly $400 million off its annual expenses. Shares are up more than 56 percent year-over-year.