What are the allegations against Mike Jeffries? Net worth explored as bombshell Abercrombie & Fitch scandal emerges
American businessman and former CEO of apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, Mike Jeffries, and his British partner, Matthew Smith, were recently accused of s*xual exploitation of multiple men between 2009 and 2015. As per BBC reports, both men hosted s*x parties worldwide and had their own highly organized networks to conduct these illicit events.
Trigger warning: This story contains mentions of s*xual abuse
So far, eight young men have come forward with allegations of s*xual exploitation and abuse to the BBC, who revealed that Mike Jeffries and Matthew Smith had a middleman who was responsible for making all arrangements and was aware of the wrongdoings. However, this middleman, identified as James Jacobson, denied all allegations and told the BBC that all the men went into these events “with their eyes wide open.”
As for Abercrombie & Fitch, their spokesperson stated to the BBC that they were “appalled and disgusted” by the accusations. Currently, two ex-U.S. prosecutors are conducting their own independent investigation and determining whether s*xual trafficking charges against Jeffries and his partner should be brought, as most of the male victims were coerced or lured to have s*x, in exchange for money.
In this regard, Mike Jeffries’ net worth, among other things, has come into focus. As per the online website Celebrity Net Worth, it is approximately $300 million.
Exploring, in brief, the latest scandal surrounding Mike Jeffries
A two-year-long investigation exclusively conducted by the BBC found out from at least eight men that the former CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Mike Jeffries, and his British partner, Matthew Smith, organized s*x events where they recruited young men via a middleman and reportedly exploited and abused them. It was broadcast on Monday, October 3, on the BBC show Panorama.
As per the BBC, the s*x parties were hosted in Mike’s New York City residence as well as in posh hotels around the world, such as in London, Paris, Venice, and Marrakesh. The media source discovered a dozen men who gave accounts of the s*x events that they attended between 2009 and 2015. Out of them, eight men told the BBC that they were reportedly hired by a middleman named James Jacobson, whom they described as having an absent nose covered with a snakeskin patch.
Most of the testimonies of the men had striking similarities. While some said that they were “misled about the nature of the events” and had no clue they were s*xual in nature, others mentioned that even though they knew that s*x would be involved, they did not agree to be abused and exploited in exchange for money. A few even said that they were offered modeling opportunities but ended up in what seemed to be orgi*s.
For instance, an individual named David Bradberry told the BBC that he met Jeffries and Smith via Jacobson in 2010 when he was 23 years old. At first, he was allegedly asked to perform oral s*x on Jacobson during a photoshoot and was even paid $500 for his time. He also mentioned how Jacobson told him that he needed to do all this to shape his career and earn fame. Later, when Bradberry was invited to Jeffries’ Hamptons home, the latter reportedly drugged him and had non-consensual s*x with him.
As per the testimonies given to the BBC, all the men said that when they were not having s*x with Jeffries, Smith, or Jacobson, they were allegedly asked to do it with each other while they watched. The men also informed the news outlet that they were always paid thousands of dollars in cash and never felt comfortable saying no in the presence of Jeffries’ personal uniformed security.
Not only that, all the men said that they were allegedly groomed to look good in front of them, were occasionally asked to strip and dance, and were later made to sign non-disclosure agreements.
Meanwhile, most men told the BBC that it seemed Mike Jeffries and Matthew Smith were more than partners and often allegedly engaged in s*xual acts together and may have even lived together, while Jeffries was still reportedly married to his second wife, Susan Hansen.
So far, neither Jeffries nor Smith have issued public statements on the allegations. However, the middleman James Jacobson told the BBC that there was no “coercive, deceptive, or forceful behavior on my part" and that he had “no knowledge of any such conduct by others.”
Over the years, Mike Jeffries has come under fire for using semi-n*de models for his brand’s ad campaigns, marketing with racially and s*xually offensive slogans, and promoting using provocative billboards.
Mike Jeffries left with a retirement package of $25 million
Born in July 1944 in Los Angeles, California, Mike Jeffries has been regarded as one of the richest American CEOs of all time. According to the website Celebrity Net Worth, Jeffries has a net worth of $300 million, all of which he acquired during his tenure at Abercrombie & Fitch between 1992 and 2014.
During this time, Mike was responsible for recovering the brand from bankruptcy and turning it into one of the world’s most valuable retailers. However, he resigned from the role of CEO in 2014 when the stocks of the company fell for 11 consecutive quarters.
Jeffries first joined Abercrombie & Fitch in 1988 as a sales and marketing expert. However, within four years, due to his promising performance, he was made the CEO. Unfortunately, the company was struggling during this time and the owner Leslie Wexner’s Limited Brands gave him full control to run Abercrombie & Fitch.
Over the next decade, Mike Jeffries completely turned around the fate of the brand, as it turned from a “fashion backwater” losing $25 million annually to a global lifestyle brand making $2 billion per annum by 2006. However, after the 2007-2008 global financial crisis, the sales of the company dropped to an all-time low, and could not recover under Mike’s leadership.
In fact, in December 2013, Jeffries earned the title of “Worst CEO of 2013” by analyst Herb Greenberg, after Abercrombie & Fitch’s stock fell 40 percent over the last year. CNBC’s Jim Cramer also put Jeffries name on the “Wall of Shame.” In the wake of this, Mike resigned as the CEO in December 2014, after 11 quarters of the company’s declining sales.
However, during his time as the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Mike Jeffries earned his own fortune. He owned 3 percent of the brand’s shares, which amounts to $60 million in today’s market. Besides the equity, Jeffries also earned millions of dollars worth of salary, and as per the media source, between 2004 and 2014, he received $400 million in compensation. In fact, as per BBC, his retirement package was estimated at $25 million. Not only that, he had an executive jet to go around the world on business tours.
In April 2022, Netflix released a critically acclaimed documentary titled White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch which was based on the growth and decline of the brand under Mike Jeffries.