New Hulu Sequence Explores Les Wexner’s Ties to Jeffrey Epstein – ARTnews.com

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Leslie H. Wexner, the Ohio billionaire who was as soon as one of many world’s vital artwork collectors, made his fortune on the mall by turning round faltering manufacturers into massively profitable behemoths like Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria’s Secret and founding others just like the Restricted and Bathtub & Physique Works. However since 2019, when Jeffrey Epstein, the financier who was charged with intercourse trafficking of minors in Florida and New York and who had beforehand been Wexner’s cash supervisor, the mall mogul’s popularity and fortune have been on the decline.

Wexner’s relationship to Epstein is now explored in a brand new three-episode documentary collection on Hulu, referred to as Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons, that turned obtainable to stream on Thursday. Directed by Matt Tyrnauer, who was beforehand explored style and intercourse scandals in collection like Valentino: The Final Emperor (2008) and Scotty and the Secret Historical past of Hollywood (2017), the tantalizing new documentary charts Wexner’s rise and fall, and is the newest documentary to take action, with Netflix having launched White Scorching: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch earlier this 12 months.

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In response to Angels and Demons, Epstein was identified to connect himself to older, wealthier males as a method to safe funds and energy. Wexner ended up being a kind of males, entangling himself deeply with Epstein and going as far as to make Epstein his monetary supervisor and later giving him energy of lawyer.

That struck many in his circle, reminiscent of former Victoria’s Secret CEO Cindy Fedus-Fields, as out of character contemplating that Wexner was a identified micro-manager and that Epstein was a university dropout who had mysteriously leveraged a job at Bear Stearns after a quick stint as a math trainer at Dalton, the distinguished New York personal faculty. Serving as Wexner’s monetary supervisor from the ’80s till 2007, Epstein use his connection to Wexner’s firms, most notably Victoria’s Secret, in an effort to proposition ladies.

Victoria's Secret: Angels and Demons -- Season 1 -- Investigated with journalistic rigor by director Matt Tyrnauer, this documentary tells the searing and provocative story of the Victoria’s Secret brand and its longtime CEO, the larger-than-life, enigmatic billionaire Les Wexner. The underworld of fashion, the billionaire class, and Jeffrey Epstein are all revealed to be inextricably intertwined with the fall of this legendary brand in Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons. (Courtesy of Hulu)

Nonetheless from Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons.

HULU

Angels and Demons focuses on one case particularly. In 1997, the actress Alicia Arden filed a police report after Epstein posed as a Victoria’s Secret recruiter. Epstein had invited Arden to audition for him in his resort room, the place he proceeded, Arden alleges, to sexually assault her.

At the moment, senior executives at Victoria’s Secret had already complained to Wexner that Epstein had been posing as a Victoria’s Secret expertise scout to achieve entry to younger ladies. Regardless of promising to talk with Epstein about this conduct, Wexner was both unwilling or unable to get him to cease, and the 2 continued to take care of a detailed monetary relationship for one more decade.

Regardless of the present being marketed as a deep dive into Wexner and Epstein’s relationship, the collection by no means actually will get at precisely why Wexner gave Epstein such unprecedented energy and entry to his fortune, paying him over $400 million through the years.

“That continues to be a giant query mark,” Tyrnauer admitted in an interview with the Los Angeles Occasions this week. “Regardless of the efforts of many nice journalists wanting into this, together with Sarah Ellison, who’s within the movie, and writers from Self-importance Honest and the New York Occasions, it actually stays a thriller.” (Wexner declined to offer an interview for Angels and Demons.)

As a substitute, what the documentary focuses on is the extremely fascinating however maybe not headline grabbing story of the rise of the Victoria’s Secret empire and the way it formed the fast-fashion business and America’s understanding of attractive.

As a collector, Wexner didn’t concentrate on a selected period or artist however purchased a little bit little bit of every part. He started his assortment in 1978 with Willem de Kooning’s Pink Girl (ca. 1944) and would go on to purchase works by Picasso, Giacometti, and Jean Dubuffet. His assortment was exhibited on the Wexner Heart for the Arts, to which he was a significant donor and which is called after his father, in Columbus, Ohio, in 2014.

Although he at level amassed one in all nation’s high artwork collections, Angels and Demons additionally doesn’t cowl this. That’s maybe a evident omission provided that Epstein was additionally deeply entrenched within the artwork world.

From 1987 to 1994, Epstein was a board member of the New York Academy of Artwork and a famous donor of M.I.T’s media lab. He had robust relationships with artwork supplier Leah Kleman, whose contact data is jotted down in Epstein’s “little black guide,” which contained the names of dozens of high-profile individuals, a few of whom have denied realizing Epstein, in keeping with the New York Occasions.

One other vital connection was famous collector Leon Black, who has lengthy been a trustee of the Museum of Fashionable Artwork in New York. In response to the New York Submit, Black allegedly tapped Epstein to direct the Leon Black Household Basis even after Epstein was arrested for intercourse trafficking costs again in 2008. The muse has since denied that that they had something to do with Epstein after 2007, citing his inclusion on paperwork after 2007 as a clerical error.

In a 2020 assertion, Black stated, ”Understanding all that I’ve discovered up to now two years about Epstein’s reprehensible and despicable conduct, I deeply remorse having had any involvement with him. With the advantage of hindsight, working with him was a horrible mistake on my half.”

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