As friends, acquaintances and former business associates — including President Trump, who was once all three, and former President Clinton — rush to distance themselves from Jeffrey Epstein, more and more links between the fashion and media worlds and the convicted sex offender and disgraced billionaire keep coming to light, no doubt causing numerous public figures to brace themselves for potentially embarrassing disclosures along the lines of “Epstein was once seen with [Fill in the Blank].”
According to court documents released by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, Epstein, who was arrested on July 6, is being charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors between 2002 and 2005 in New York and Florida. If convicted, he faces a maximum prison sentence of 45 years.
While information on Epstein’s business ventures and earnings are scant so far, the money manager and former Wall Street trader had many dealings within the fashion and media spaces, notably with Victoria’s Secret owner Leslie H. Wexner. Epstein managed Wexner’s finances for more than two decades, along with those of Jean-Luc Brunel, who has been accused of supplying underage girls through his modeling agency, MC2, to Epstein in a 2015 lawsuit against Epstein by a victim.
From his close ties with Wexner to a sexual assault lawsuit filed in 2016 that also named Trump, here’s a rundown of Epstein’s links to the fashion and media worlds through the years.
Leslie H. Wexner, L Brands Inc. chairman and chief executive officer
After working as a financial trader, Epstein launched his own firm, J. Epstein & Co., where Wexner was his sole client through 2003. The pair had a close friendship, with Epstein later taking ownership of Wexner’s Manhattan mansion, the same 21,000-square-foot mansion on East 71st Street that court documents are demanding Epstein forfeit because many of the alleged acts of child sex trafficking and assault took place there.
According to The Daily Beast, in April an accuser named Maria Farmer came forward alleging that she was assaulted by Epstein in Wexner’s home in Ohio in the Nineties and that Wexner’s security team prohibited her from leaving the residence.
It’s been reported that Wexner cut ties with Epstein over a decade ago, as allegations and lawsuits regarding Epstein’s pedophilia increased.
Jean-Luc Brunel, cofounder MC2 Model Management
Many of Epstein’s associates have been involved in their own lawsuits for involvement in his child sex trafficking operation, including Jean-Luc Brunel, cofounder of MC2 Model Management, and Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite, close friend of Prince Andrew’s and the alleged “madame” in Epstein’s child trafficking operation.
In 2015, Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre claimed in court documents as part of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act that Brunel helped supply Epstein with underage girls from around the world by recruiting them as models through the agency. The lawsuit is ongoing.
The same year, Brunel filed his own lawsuit against Epstein, suing him for damages linked to Epstein’s bad publicity and reputation as he increasingly faced sexual assault allegations. Brunel stated that the allegations against Epstein resulted in “a tremendous loss of business” for his modeling agency, according to court documents. In April, the Third District Court of Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County ruled in favor of Epstein, stating that Brunel failed to comply with the service of process requirements in the lawsuit.
Giuffre had also filed a civil suit against Maxwell in 2015, who has also been accused of enlisting underage girls under the ruse of modeling assignments. Giuffre claims she was recruited as a sex slave for Epstein at the age of 15 — where she states she was forced into sexual activities with many of Epstein’s friends, including Prince Andrew — when she worked as a spa attendant at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. In 2017, the civil suit was settled between both parties.
President Trump and Epstein have been linked in the past, with the former once stating to New York Magazine in a 2002 interview, “I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it, Jeffrey enjoys his social life.” When asked about Epstein at the Oval Office on Tuesday, President Trump seemingly went back on his earlier remarks, stating: “I had a falling out a long time ago with him. I don’t think I’ve spoken to him in 15 years.” He added that he was also “not a fan” of Epstein, but didn’t specify the cause of their falling out.
The two were also involved in the same lawsuit filed in 2016, where an unnamed accuser alleged she was sexually assaulted by both Trump and Epstein in 1994 — when she was 13 years old — at Epstein’s New York home. The court documents describe the assault as “acts of rape, sexual misconduct, criminal sexual acts, sexual abuse, forcible touching, assault and battery,” among others.
Three months later, the victim dropped the case voluntarily.
New York Magazine
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One person you won’t find in the latest print edition of @nymag is Donald Trump. Our new Trump-free issue is instead packed with stories like Jessica Pressler with a behind-the-scenes look at the battle for Grace Church, as Brooklyn’s oldest nursery school tries to become a little less old-fashioned, while its students's parents act like high schoolers; John H. Richardson profiling Ben Crump, the lawyer who has represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown Jr., Tamir Rice, Alesia Thomas, and Terence Crutcher, and worked on many less notorious Black Lives Matter cases; and Irin Carmon putting a spotlight on Shari Redstone, who is now sitting at the top of a $30 billion media empire. Tap the link in our bio to read more about the stories you'll find in our new issue. 📸 by David Williams (@davidwilliamsphoto) of The Swingle from @steveskeylimepie
In addition to managing Wexner’s finances, Epstein looked to enter publishing in 2003 with a bid to purchase New York Magazine. Working with former New York Daily News owner Mortimer Zuckerman, advertising executive Donny Deutsch and disgraced film executive Harvey Weinstein, the group lost out to Bruce Wasserstein, who purchased the magazine for $55 million.
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Caught in a lie? Taylor Swift is in hot water after her claims that she was not informed talent manager Scooter Braun would be taking over the entertainment company that owns her past music albums. Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, and Scooters wife, Yael, are all clapping back. Receipts show the singer knew a week before the deal was happening and even turned down an offer to buy back her music. In an email to record executive, Scott Borchetta, Taylor appeared to be fine that she didn’t accept the offer, saying she still viewed him as a “partner and friend.” 🤨 For the full story, click the link below. (📸: Getty Images). . . . . . . . #taylorswift #scooterbraun #yaelcohen #demilovato #justinbieber
The following year, Epstein linked up with Zuckerman again to invest in entertainment magazine, Radar, investing up to $25 million. Radar is now owned by American Media Inc.
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