A Jeffrey Epstein accuser blames Victoria's Secret owner Les Wexner for sexual assault that she says occurred on his Ohio property
L Brands, Associated Press
- In the summer of 1996, Maria Farmer, then 26, says the late Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged "madam," Ghislaine Maxwell, sexually assaulted her in New Albany, Ohio.
- Farmer, an artist, had been offered a two month-stay in a home deeded to Epstein by the L Brands CEO Les Wexner, who owns Victoria's Secret, and developed much of New Albany.
- Wexner says he had never heard of Farmer before her allegations surfaced, but she told The Washington Post that while living on the billionaire's heavily guarded estate she had to get permission from Wexner's wife Abigail to even leave the house.
- Farmer also said that after Epstein and Maxwell assaulted her Wexner's security guards, some of whom she was told were contracted from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, tried to prevent her from leaving.
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In the summer of 1996, Maria Farmer was a 26-year-old artist whom the late Jeffrey Epstein offered her a two-month stay at a New Albany, Ohio estate that she says ended with him and his partner Ghislaine Maxwell sexually assaulting her.Farmer, now 50, told The Washington Post that she had been commissioned to create two large paintings for the movie "As Good As It Gets," and that Epstein's friend and close business associate Les Wexner had a 336-acre property in the Ohio farmlands that she could live in while she worked.Advertisement
Wexner, the CEO of L Brands - which owns The Limited, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Victoria's Secret - had recently developed a town of 400 people outside Columbus, Ohio, into a neighborhood of Georgian-style mansions and white picket fences. He says that, before her allegations surfaced, he had never even heard of Farmer.
Wexner employed a security team that included deputies contracted from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, and Farmer says after Epstein and Maxwell assaulted her, she was held in the home against her will until her father came to pick her up.Farmer told the Post that she holds Wexner "responsible for what happened to me," because he deeded the home where the assault took place to Epstein, his closest financial adviser, and it was Wexner's guards who prevented her from leaving after the assault."Les loves me. He'll let me do anything," is what Farmer recalls Epstein saying to her about the billionaire, who has since distanced himself from his long history with the late financier, who died by suicide in federal prison after being charged with sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy.Advertisement
How Epstein used Wexner's New Albany estate to his advantage, trapping Maria Farmer and sexually assaulting her
A representative for the Wexners told the Post that they never had any contact with Farmer, and did not elaborate on whether she had spent those two months in the home deeded to Epstein next to their New Albany estate, under continuous watch by Wexner's security team.The same representative did not comment to the Post on how Farmer had obtained an Ohio driver's license during her stay that listed her address as the Wexner's. Wexner's representative didn't immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.Advertisement
Wexner has also claimed that he was never aware of Epstein's crimes and that their relationship had already dissolved upon his arrest in 2019 - in part because he said Epstein "misappropriated vast sums of money from me and my family." In 2008, Epstein was convicted on two counts of soliciting prostitution from underage girls in Palm Beach, Florida.Farmer is one of Epstein's well-known accusers, in part due to her affidavit detailing her experiences with him and Maxwell that was submitted in addition to Virginia Giuffre's case against the lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who Giuffre says sexually assaulted her along with Epstein.Advertisement
Both Farmer and her younger sister Annie, who has been present at the most recent trial for Epstein in 2019, say they were assaulted by Epstein and Maxwell. While Maria was in New Albany, Annie, who was 15 at the time, was flown to Epstein's New Mexico ranch, where she says he and Maxwell molested her.
Getty/Astrid Stawiarz / Stringer
Epstein's house was effectively a "guest house" of Wexner's, and former security personnel who worked there told the Post that armed guards and dogs monitored the premises. Farmer wasn't even allowed to run outside, and jogged around the mansion instead.Farmer told the Post that she was not allowed to enter and exit the property by way of the Wexner's large, gated driveway, though. She used an alternate entrance. She obtained an Ohio driver's license while there, so that she could pick Epstein and Maxwell up from the airport, as they visited several times. On their last visit, she told the Post they assaulted her.After being assaulted, she told the Post she recalled calling 911, being put on hold, and then being hung up on. She also called the Franklin County sheriff's office, which was when someone told her "We work for Wexner." Over a 12-hour period, during which her father drove from Kentucky to pick her up, she says she begged security officers to let her leave, and they refused.Advertisement
The Franklin County sheriff's office has no records of Farmer's 911 call, and denied that it happened, but the office also doesn't keep records of that kind for more than two years. Upon arriving home to New York, Farmer filed a police report and was encouraged to speak to the FBI, which she did - she would not hear back until 2006, when the investigation into Epstein's Palm Beach crimes began.Farmer told the Post she has no intention to sue Wexner, who currently remains atop L Brands. However, he is being subjected to an investigation ordered by the company's board through an outside firm into the extent of his relationship with Epstein. L Brands has suffered financially over the past few years, with its stop dropping from $100 to $19 a share. Advertisement
In a meeting with shareholders, Wexner addressed his relationship with Epstein himself, saying that he had cut ties with the convicted sex offender more than a decade before his death.
"At some point in your life we are all betrayed by friends. If we haven't, we are really fortunate to have led a perfectly sheltered life," Wexner said to the shareholders, the Post reported. "But at the end of the day, people that have secret lives, have secret lives. And they're secret because they're so good at hiding those secrets."
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