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Jeffrey Epstein pretended to be a Victoria’s Secret recruiter to procure young models, it has been alleged.
The convicted sex trafficker – who took his own life in August 2019 while awaiting sentence – was close friends with the lingerie firm’s founder Les Wexner and reportedly used their working relationship as a way to get close to aspiring starlets.
In new Paramount+ documentary Victoria Secret: Angels and Demons, Cindy Fedus-Fields, former Victoria’s Secret Direct CEO, said: “In 1993 I was told a man was in New York portraying himself as a recruiter for Victoria’s Secret models.
“I asked his name and she said Jeffrey Epstein and I thought, boy, this is trouble.
“I asked for Les (Wexner) to be called directly and he said he would put an end to it.”
Although former Victoria’s Secret executives insisted Les was aware of Epstein’s behaviour, the businessman has denied knowledge of any criminal activity.
Underwear model Alicia Arden told programme makers she went to meet Epstein – whose former partner Ghislaine Maxwell was recently sentenced to 20 years in jail for sex trafficking crimes involving the procuring of teen girls for her former lover – at a Santa Monica hotel in 1997 because he told her he worked for Victoria’s Secret.
But during their business meeting, he allegedly told her to strip to her underwear and was “touching (her) butt” before handing over $100.
She filed a police report but no action was taken.
And veteran Victoria’s Secret model Frederique van der Wal recalled being surprised when other girls mentioned being told to audition for Epstein because he used his links to the firm as a “calling card.”
She said: “I remember being on sets and a girl saying ‘I am asked to go see Jeffrey Epstein for Victoria’s Secret.’
“Why? It was never Victoria’s Secret that asked the girls to go see Epstein, but he used it as a calling card.”
In 2004, Epstein loaned $1 million to French modelling agency boss Jean-Luc Brunel to set up a firm in New York called MC2 Model Management.
Anti-trafficking advocate Conchita Sarnoff said “Brunel got the girls’ visas and they were put up in one of Epstein’s apartments. It allowed Epstein to bring girls legally into the U.S. under the guise of modelling.”