At Large  January 7, 2024  Rebecca Schiffman

Art Patrons Named in Unsealed Jeffrey Epstein Documents

Via Wikimedia Commons

Jeffrey Epstein (left) and Glenn Dubin (right)

Dozens of previously sealed court documents related to Jeffrey Epstein were made public this past week, revealing further details of the disgraced finacier's connection to some high-profile art collectors, patrons, and investors. The court documents, which were filed in the Federal District Court in Manhattan in a lawsuit involving Epstein, and are now unsealed, named major Picasso and New York School artist collector Leslie Wexner, MoMA board trustee Glenn Dubin, and former chairman of the Art Institute of Chicago, Thomas Pritzker.

The documents were released as part of a 2015 settled civil lawsuit brought against Epstein and Ghislane Maxwell, Epstein’s associate and co-conspirator. Maxwell is currently serving a twenty-year sentence for her role in Epstein’s abuse scheme. While the documents, previously sealed, hid the names of those involved, the current presiding judge, Loretta A. Preska, deemed many of the names of “public interest” and in December ordered them to be unsealed. 

The three major art collectorsWexner, Dubin, and Pritzkerand their connections to Epstein have already been publicly known, even before these unsealed documents. But these new documents have shed further light on the subject and with this new information and renewed attention, could turn out to be troublesome for these powerful men who still sit on boards of major museums, collect artworks, and donate their collections to institutions. They could perhaps follow the path of Leon Black, the former chairman of the Museum of Modern Art who stepped down from his post in 2021 over his ties to Epstein (Black remains on the board of trustees of the museum).

All three have had serious allegations made against them, most of which they all vehemently deny. Thomas Pritzker, the billionaire executive chair of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, is probably known to most from his family philanthropic fund, which gives out the Pritzker Architecture Prize. In 2019, Virginia Giuffre accused Pritzker of being one of the men she was trafficked to have sex with.

In court depositions, in which her lawyer asked how many times she had sex with Pritzker, Giuffre replied, “I believe I was with Tom once.” Later, she told lawyers that Ghislane Maxwell “sent” her to Pritzker to perform sex acts. Pritzker has said in a statement, “This is the same false and isolated allegation that was published and vehemently denied more than four years ago.” 

Guiffre has also accused Glenn Dubin of the same crime. In 2016, she said that Maxwell told her to have sex with Dubin. Dubin has denied these allegations. 

Les Wexner, the former owner of Victoria’s Secret, and founder of the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University had a long relationship with Epstein, which was outlined by the New York Times in a major article in 2019. The article explains that Epstein allegedly gained access, through Wexner, to the young women he would later abuse by posing as a Victoria’s Secret modeling scout. Wexner has never denied his relationship with Epstein, but rather denies knowing about Epstein’s criminal activities.

These documents are only the first set in a cache of records and interviews that will be released in the coming weeks.

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