The most likely explanation for Epstein’s incredible wealth is the extremely tight relationship he shared with Les Wexner, whose company owns Victoria’s Secret, Pink, and Bath & Body works, among others. Wexner, who is reportedly worth between $4.5 billion and $6.7 billion, became fast friends with Epstein and made him his “personal money manager” around 1987.
The Epstein-Wexner relationship was described as “weird” by people around them, but Wexner referred to Epstein as his “protégé” and “most loyal friend.” In describing his relationship with Wexner, Epstein once told Vanity Fair, “It’s like we have one brain between two of us: each has a side.”
Wexner reportedly gave the cold shoulder to his lifelong friends who questioned his whirlwind mutual fascination with Epstein. In the summer of 1991, Wexner signed a power of attorney that gave Epstein the power to buy and sell properties, borrow money, hire people, and sign checks on Wexner’s behalf.
According to model Alicia Arden, Epstein told her that he was a “talent scout” for Victoria’s Secret in May of 1997. He lured her into an “audition” in a Santa Monica hotel room, then sexually assaulted her, stating that he wanted to “manhandle” her. She filed the first known sexual assault report against Epstein with the Santa Monica Police Department, but it didn’t seem to matter. Epstein was flying high in those days, and when Wexner heard about the incident, he reportedly promised to “take care of the issue.” But nothing seemed to come of it, and Epstein grew into an international, jet-setting rapist.
Early on, Epstein may not have done so well with the ladies, but he had some kind of unusually effective manipulative power and used it mostly to get in good with very rich men. Sandy Lewis—Wexner’s very successful money manager for a decade before Robert Meister of Aon introduced Wexner to Epstein—called Epstein a “con artist” who “emotionally seduced” Wexner.
What is known is that numerous multimillion-dollar assets belonging to the Wexner family and their companies ended up in Epstein’s hands. In 1992, Epstein bought a real estate development from Wexner in New Albany, Ohio, for $3.5 million, and an entity linked to Wexner bought it back in 1998 for $8 million. Epstein also paid $10 million for a Boeing 727 jet that had been owned by The Limited—the plane that would later be dubbed the “Lolita Express.”
Epstein had control over Wexner’s foundations, and two of them contributed about $21 million in stock and cash to a charity that Epstein set up, called C.O.U.Q. Epstein’s charity contributed money to various organizations, including the Clinton Foundation, Harvard University, and the Palm Beach Police Department (the Palm Beach Police Department returned Epstein’s money after learning of his crimes, but others kept their Epstein money).
Inconsistent information has always surrounded Epstein, including how he came to acquire Wexner’s mansion in New York. Wexner had purchased the property at 9 East 71st Street from the Birch Wathen Lenox School in 1989, then “turned over” the property to Epstein in 1995. In 1998, it was sold to a Virgin Islands company known as NES LLC, an entity affiliated with Epstein. This was the same year that Epstein -- through LSJ LLC, a company he solely owned--purchased Little Saint James, a private island in the Virgin Islands, for $7.95 million. The island is better known by locals as "Orgy Island" and "Pedophile Island."