Inside The Bizarre Friendship Of Billionaire Lex Wexner And Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein

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Who Is Les Wexner? New Details On The Billionaire Limited Founder And His Close Ties To Jeffrey Epstein

Money talks.

When financial whiz and convicted predator Jeffrey Epstein was arrested and held without bail this week in New York City, the powerful man's life was immediately put under a microscope for inspection. One aspect that has caught fire is the people to whom Epstein is connected, a veritable who's who of the rich, powerful, and politically connected. It's like watching someone very carefully dismantle a house of cards. 

One of the people on that list with strong ties to Epstein is the billionaire founder of The Limited Les Wexner. Epstein and Wexner have known each other for decades and while Wexner has diligently tried to distance himself from the man in light of the accusations made about him, Epstein's hooks are in deep. Here's what you need to know about Les Wexner and what his role is, if any, in the crimes of which Jeffrey Epstein stands accused. Who is Les Wexner?

1. Epstein and Wexner

Back in 2008, accused child sexual assailant Jeffrey Epstein and the billionaire Les Wexner, founder of The Limited, were pretty good friends. Or at least, that's how it seemed. Under the surface, Wexner was trying to pull away from Epstein as rumors about his crimes would eventually lead to his arrest in Florida in 2008. Be that as it may, Epstein recognized power when he saw it and had no intention of letting Wexner go. In fact, the very same year that Epstein went off to serve his prison term (for soliciting sex from an underage sex worker) he handed over more than $40 million of his assets to Wexner who was launching the very first of his nonprofit foundations. Wexner planned to get out of their friendship, Epstein planned on staying connected even as he went to prison. The way to keep Wexner, a powerful man, shackled? Money, money, and more money. 

RELATED: Model Says She Hit Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein With Vibrator To Keep Him From Raping Her

2. The News 

It's so often the case (too often, in life and in the movies and on TV) that a rich white man can do whatever he wants to anyone, especially someone who is already vulnerable (like a child), and with the right connections and a thick enough bankroll, they can get away with it. While Epstein served time, it was hardly justice and he returned to his life of leisure. Until now. Epstein is making headlines again, this time because he has been arrested and charged in the State of New York with trafficking dozens of underage girls. So where does this leave Epstein's pal Wexner? It puts him firmly back in the headlines. You see, the place where many of the crimes of which Epstein is accused is a townhouse which he bought...from Wexner. 

3. Who You Know 

Because the case is in the news, all of Epstein's connections, business, social and otherwise, are being very intensely scrutinized, and Wexner is just one of them. In addition to knowing the billionaire, Epstein has countless other high-powered associated. He was once very good friends with both President Bill Clinton and President Donald Trump, two men who are known in part for their less than stellar treatment of women. People who are connected with Epstein have been taking proactive measures to make it clear they no longer endorse the man. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York announced that he's donating the thousands that Epstein donated to his campaign to character, along with Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett, of the Virgin Islands.

RELATED: Jennifer Aaroz Claims Jeffrey Epstein Raped Her When She Was 15 — Here's Her Story

4. A Long Time Coming

Wexner may have smelled trouble in the form of an association with Epstein a decade ago but could have held onto their ties because they shared a home state, Ohio. But eventually, Wexner and his wife had to make it clear they couldn't associate with Epstein. “They are both very prominent in Columbus [Ohio]. It's just unseemly that they would associate with someone who first was accused of things that made them extremely uncomfortable and then he eventually pleaded guilty to those offenses,” said a source close to them both.  When Wexner's move became apparent to Epstein, the man singlehandedly financed the YLK Charitable Fund started by Wexner. Epstein also worked for a time as his money manager, making him an even richer man. Wexner's camp hasn't commented on whether or not he plans on donating his money, but come on, you don't get to be a billionaire without being at least a little bit morally bankrupt (imho).

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5. The Friendship Now 

Epstein seems to be aware of just how poorly it looks for Wexner to be associated with him today. In 1996, he bought Wexner's townhouse for $13.2 million dollars. According to an interview with the Times, Epstein said that Wexner never actually even lived in the place for much longer than a handful of months. Today, that townhouse, the same location where many of the crimes against Epstein are said to have taken place, is valued at $77 million. While Wexner obviously knows that he can't maintain a connection with Epstein intellectually, he has long spoken about their connection. In 2003 he said about Epstein, “I think we both possess the skill of seeing patterns. But Jeffrey sees patterns in politics and financial markets, and I see patterns in lifestyle and fashion trends. My skills are not in investment strategy, and, as everyone who knows Jeffrey knows, his are not in fashion and design. We frequently discuss world trends as each of us sees them.”

RELATED: Madam Ghislaine Maxwell Allegedly Procured Young Girls For Billionaire Pedophile Jeffery Epstein

 

6. The Money

Wexner and others have chosen to distance from Epstein after his arrest, but other people who are entangled with the accused predator are keeping his money.  For example, Epstein was a huge backer during Bill Clinton's presidential run. He also donated to their foundation. Clinton has said that he had no knowledge of Epstein's crimes. A sad but bold choice was made by The Hewitt School, an exclusive academy for girls,  which received a hefty donation from one of Epstein's funds. “The Hewitt School received a gift from Gratitude America Ltd. in 2016. Upon learning of the foundation’s background several months ago, the School immediately returned the funds. The School has had no other contact with the foundation or with anyone related to the foundation," said the school. 

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime. 

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