A BBC Panorma investigation has left many wondering where Mike Jeffries is now.
Former Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries returned to headlines in 2022 with the release of Netflix's documentary White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch, which documented the success of the fashion brand in the late '90s and early '00s, before its exclusive image was tarnished by exclusionary marketing and discriminatory hiring.
The documentary left viewers asking questions about the current whereabouts of those featured, much like the new release Bad Surgeon has some wondering where Paolo Macchiarini is now. Similarly, Netflix's Race To The Summit left those tuning in wondering what happened to climber Ueli Steck, and another of their documentaries, Beckham, had fans wondering about the whereabouts of Rebecca Loos now - David and Victoria broke years of silence over the alleged affair David had with his former PA in the series.
Now, interest in Mike Jeffries' whereabouts has been renewed after BBC Panorama reported that he and his partner, Matthew Smith, face allegations of exploitation from men recruited for sex events they hosted. Neither Jeffries nor Smith responded to the BBC's request for comment, but the couple's middleman denied any wrongdoing.
Where is Mike Jeffries now?
Mike Jeffries stepped down from Abercrombie and Fitch in 2014, and no longer lives in the public eye. However, unconfirmed reports claim that the businessman now lives in Ohio with his partner Matthew Smith and their three dogs.
Jeffries left the business following eight consecutive quarters of declining sales - as well as a number of controversies surrounding the brand - and after being stripped of his chairman title.
At the time, he said in a statement: "It has been an honour to lead this extraordinarily talented group of people. I am extremely proud of your accomplishments. I believe now is the right time for new leadership to take the company forward in the next phase of its development."
What did Mike Jeffries do?
Mike Jeffries is the former CEO of fashion brand Abercrombie & Fitch, and was brought on board in 1992 by Leslie Wexner, a billionaire businessman and previously a close friend of Jeffrey Epstein.
Jeffries transformed A&F's image by centring the brand around elitism, sex, and exclusivity, with rigid perceptions of masculinity and femininity. Jeffries also brought on famed photographer Bruce Weber, who created the iconic black and white images of chiselled, topless men that came to be associated with Abercrombie & Fitch.
Jeffries led the brand to great success in the 90s and early 2000s, but, as the Netflix documentary reveals, things began to unravel quickly for Abercrombie & Fitch and its CEO. In 2002, there were protests over racist T-shirts and suggestive thongs marketed to pre-teen girls, then in 2003 a group of former employees sued A&F for racial discrimination. The brand settled for $40 million and admitted no wrongdoing.
After Mike Jeffries had stepped down Samantha Elauf won a Supreme Court case against A&F in June 2015, after the company refused to hire her because she wore a headscarf.
More recently, BBC Panorama reported it had uncovered evidence that Jeffries and his partner had exploited men at events they hosted. Two former US prosecutors who independently reviewed documents and testimony uncovered by the BBC have called for an investigation to determine whether charges for sex trafficking could be brought.
A&F, which has said it considers Mr Jeffries its modern-day founder, told the BBC it was "appalled and disgusted" by his alleged behaviour. It said new leadership has transformed the company into "the values-driven organisation we are today" and it has "zero tolerance for abuse, harassment or discrimination of any kind".
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Is Mike Jeffries married?
Mike Jeffries is not married, but he is believed to live with his current partner, Matthew Smith. The pair have reportedly been together for 20 years.
In 2013, six current and former Abercrombie & Smith bosses told BuzzFeed that Matthew Smith wielded vast power and influence over the brand while Jeffries was CEO, despite holding no official role at the company.
Previously, Jeffries was married to Susan Hansen, and the pair have one son together, called Andrew.
Mike Jeffries net worth
This was per a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which revealed that the CEO had a $19.33 million retirement plan with the company, $5.19 million in cash payments and over $300,000 in benefits coverage.
In 2016, Jeffries listed his Manhattan townhouse for $19.5million, before relisting it for $16million - as per Elle Decor - and eventually selling a year later for $12.9million.
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Ellie is Goodto’s Feature Editor, having joined the team as a Junior Features Writer in 2022, and covers everything from wellbeing for parents to the latest TV and entertainment. Ellie has covered all the latest trends in the parenting world, including baby names, parenting hacks, and foodie tips for busy families. She has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University, and previously Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies.
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