Sandy Lewis, the former Wall Street arbitrageur and son of Cy Lewis, the onetime senior partner at Bear Stearns, first met Leslie Wexner in the early 1980s when he was dispatched by Milton Petrie, another retailing mogul, to Columbus, Ohio. Petrie wanted to buy the Limited from Wexner, its founder and now the subject of much speculation because of his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, convicted of sex with minors in 2008 and newly accused of sex trafficking, a charge to which he has pleaded not guilty.
Lewis and Wexner met alone in Wexner’s office. “We talked and it got very personal,” Lewis remembered. Finally, Wexner asked Lewis if he thought Wexner should sell the Limited to Petrie. Lewis told him no, which surprised Wexner since Lewis was working for Petrie to buy the company, now known as L Brands, from Wexner. Lewis said he didn’t think Wexner would enjoy working for Petrie. “I don’t think this guy is very good to people,” Lewis told Wexner.
The conversation had been very frank, and at the end, Wexner asked if there was anything else Lewis wanted to say. In fact, there was, Lewis recalled. “Get your mother out of her office across the hall,” Lewis told him. “Why is she there? Does she help you run this business or is she just a pain in the ass? I’m pretty direct. And I said, Les, I don’t have a good feeling about this, and your sister too…. I was being direct. And he knew what I was saying…. You’re a good guy, I like you. I don’t sense you as a troubled individual but if you keep your mother around here, God knows what that’s doing to you. Get her out of here. Just forget it.”
Source: Vanity Fair Hive