Ghislaine Maxwell Prevented Vanity Fair 20 Years Ago From Airing 'Thoroughly Untrue' Epstein Abuses
Some 20 years ago, Vanity Fair almost revealed the truth about Jeffrey Epstein. A report by Vicky Ward, with testimony from Annie and Maria Farmer, was set for publication before Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein fought the magazine for a more ‘positive portrayal’ of the man who would later be convicted for sex abuse.
The testimony of Maria Farmer and her sister Annie would later prove consequential in the conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and partner of Jeffrey Epstein who was found guilty on Wednesday of facilitating the sexual abuse of underage girls.
According to journalist Vicky Ward, formerly of Vanity Fair, the sisters’ accounts of Epstein and Maxwell should have come to light 20 years earlier. Ward, while doing a profile of Epstein, was made aware of his dark side when she interviewed the Farmer sisters.
When Vanity Fair fact-checkers contacted Maxwell with the allegations, she immediately contacted Ward to defend herself and Epstein from the allegations. Ward kept the recording and released it following Maxwell’s conviction on Thursday.
“The implication is thoroughly outrageous. Thoroughly untrue. And in every which way disgusting. And I cannot be party to anything like that,” Maxwell said at the time.
She added, about the Farmer sisters, “These are two girls that benefited greatly from Jeffrey’s generosity, and absolutely nothing untoward in any stretch of the imagination ever took place with them.”
She would add, “I can tell you something. Those two girls got a lot of Jeffrey’s generosity. He was very, very good to them.”
Maxwell defended herself in the same way that she defended Epstein. The sisters accused her of giving them nude massages.
“I can assure you I have never given a massage, nor am I about to. I have better things to do with my time,” Maxwell stated at the time.
When Ward pushed back against Maxwell, the latter immediately attacked the credibility of the sisters.
“You’re going to believe somebody that you don’t know who just comes up with a story about Jeffrey … over me? Is that what you’re just saying right now? I just want to be perfectly clear.”
Maxwell reportedly became irate and suggested that Ward was “crazy,” calling Vanity Fair a “tabloid”.
According to Ward, Epstein met with Graydon Carter, then Vanity Fair’s editor, and the testimony of the Farmer twins would be cut. Carter would explain to Ward that their allegations lacked sufficient reporting. The article published by Vanity Fair was instead called “The Talented Mr. Epstein.”
Some 20 years later, Ward’s initial trust in the Farmer sisters’ testimony was validated although Maxwell’s denials took two decades to be proven false.