Epstein's longtime associate was Les Wexner, the CEO and founder of L Brands, the parent company of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works. After Epstein's arrest on federal charges last month, Wexner acknowledged that Epstein was his former personal money manager and that he served as a trustee of the Wexner Foundation, the CEO's charitable group.
He said he severed ties with Epstein 12 years ago and denied knowledge of his criminal behavior.
"I would never have guessed that a person I employed more than a decade ago could have caused such pain to so many people," Wexner wrote in a letter to L Brands employees. "My heart goes out to each and every person who has been hurt."
Their connections ran deep, and Wexner gave Epstein "sweeping powers over his finances, philanthropy and private life," The New York Times reported.
Epstein even tried to get involved in the recruitment of models for Victoria's Secret's popular catalog, the Times reported. That troubled executives at the company, which used talent agencies to scout models. Wexner was alerted by executives and reportedly said he would handle the issue, but Epstein's involvement in trying to attract models continued, the Times reported.
L Brands' spokesperson said the board of directors has "engaged outside counsel to conduct a thorough review" at their direction.
"While Mr. Epstein served as Mr. Wexner's personal money manager for a period that ended nearly 12 years ago, we do not believe he was ever employed by nor served as an authorized representative of the company," an L Brands (LB) spokesperson said in a statement Friday.
Wexner has accused Epstein of misappropriating "vast sums of money" from him and his family, according to a letter to Wexner Foundation members. Wexner told members of his Ohio-based charitable group that he discovered the missing funds after cutting ties with Epstein in 2007.
"This was, frankly, a tremendous shock, even though it clearly pales in comparison to the unthinkable allegations against him now," said the letter, which was not signed by Wexner or dated.
One of Epstein's accusers said Epstein sexually assaulted her in Wexner's home, according to an affidavit filed in a New York court in April as part of a defamation lawsuit against attorney Alan Dershowitz.