Leslie Wexner, CEO of Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands and a close friend of Jeffrey Epstein, even serving as the alleged sex trafficker’s financial advisor, will finally step down from the company. Victoria’s Secret announced the move on Thursday along with the news that the company is going private, selling a majority stake in the business to a private equity firm, the New York Times reports.
In addition to Victoria’s Secret’s highly publicized struggle to capture their former market, Wexner’s position at the company was irreparably damaged after his connection to Epstein emerged in 2019. In addition to baffling reports that Wexner was the “source” of Epstein’s wealth, an artist who accused the financier of assault also said that she was held against her will on Wexner’s Ohio compound, an allegation he denied. In the ensuing months Wexner has attempted to distance himself from Epstein to no avail. When the deal is finalized Wexner will become chairman emeritus of L Brands.
The news that Victoria’s Secret is selling a majority stake to a private equity firm is another nail in the coffin for the flailing lingerie brand. In addition to canceling their famous fashion show, copying smaller designers, and disastrous interviews from male executives at the company, a New York Times report from earlier this month featuring interviews with dozens of current and former employees at Victoria’s Secret, alleging a culture of deep misogyny. And that culture has seeped into malls, where same-store sales were down 1% in 2019, as women continue to turn their backs on Victoria’s Secret.