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L Brands Commits To Improve Handling Of Sexual Harassment Claims In Settling Lawsuits

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at July 30, 2021


L Brands, the parent company of Victoria Secret and Bath & Body Works, said Friday it has agreed to spend $90 million to improve corporate governance and handling of sexual harassment to settle a pair of investor lawsuits alleging a culture of sexual harassment and abuse involving founder Les Wexner, who has been under scrutiny for years over his ties to the disgraced late financier Jeffrey Epstein. 

Key Facts

Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works—which will be split into separate public companies Aug. 2—will each spend $45 million over at least five years to take action to improve diversity, equity and inclusion at the companies and establish better procedures for reporting sexual harassment and investigating claims, L Brands said in a statement

The settlement will also release Wexner and former chief marketing officer Ed Razek, who was also named as a defendant, from litigation, The New York Post confirmed

Key Background 

L Brands and its top executives were sued by two shareholders after The New York Times published a bombshell investigation depicting a culture of “misogyny, bullying and harassment” at Victoria Secret. The company was already under scrutiny for Wexner’s close ties to Epstein, who died by suicide in prison while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. However, The Times investigation surfaced new allegations of sexual misconduct, and claimed models and executives were bullied and harassed for decades. In one lawsuit, Razek, who left Victoria Secret in 2019, was accused of “harassment, and allegedly personally harassed and even assaulted women associated with the company.” Wexner, meanwhile, was accused of taking a “laissez-faire approach to oversight” of the company and allowing Epstein to “prey on models.”


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