20:29 GMT +318 November 2019
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    This July 27, 2006, file photo, provided by the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office shows Jeffrey Epstein.

    ‘His Weapons Were His Hands’: Epstein Posed as Victoria’s Secret Recruiter to Grope Models – Reports

    © AP Photo/ Palm Beach Sheriff's Office
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    A second model has come forward accusing the financier of using his close ties to billionaire businessman Leslie H. Wexner to try to get access to younger women.

    Accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein posed as Victoria’s Secret talent scout to try and “manhandle” a California model by luring her to a Santa Monica hotel room, according to a police report reviewed by The New York Times.

    The model, Alicia Arden, told the Times of the 1997 encounter, one of the earliest documented allegations against Epstein. “His weapons were his hands,” said Arden, who was 27 at the time of the alleged attack. Arden visited Epstein in his Santa Monica hotel room, expecting to discuss appearing in Victoria’s Secret catalogue. The incident happened less than a year after a similar reported sexual misconduct allegation, filed by Maria Farmer, who was working on an art project for Epstein in the Ohio mansion of Leslie H. Wexner, the billionaire businessman and CEO of L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret.

    Arden said she went to the police the day after Epstein attacked her, worried that he could be using his connection to Victoria’s Secret and Wexner to hurt other women. A week later, worried about other women, she returned to the police station to put her report on the record.

    “Why would someone that powerful and successful befriend someone like Jeffrey Epstein?”  Arden said. “I don’t get it.”

    Arden’s allegations raised new questions about relations between Epstein and Wexner. Two former executives of the company told the Times that they learned that Epstein was attempting to get involved in recruiting lingerie models for Victoria’s Secret in the 1990s. Moreover, in 1991 Wexner signed a three-page legal document, known as a power of attorney, that enabled Epstein to hire people, sign checks, buy and sell properties and borrow money on Wexner’s behalf. According to the document, cited by the Times, Epstein had the “full power and authority to do and perform every act necessary” for Wexner. Epstein reportedly had control of Wexner’s financial affairs for the next 16 years, and he managed to scoop up assets previously owned by Wexner or his companies during that period, including a New York mansion for which there are no publicly filed documents showing the purchase.

    According to sources, Wexner was informed of the situation and promised to take care of it, but didn’t cut ties with Epstein until years later, when Florida authorities charged Epstein with multiple counts of molestation and unlawful sexual activity with a minor in early 2006.

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    groping, models, sexual misconduct, Les Wexner, Victoria's Secret, Jeffrey Epstein
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