A victim claims that she and her underage sister were procured for Jeffrey Epstein by his “pimp” Ghislaine Maxwell – who sexually abused and “threatened to kill” them if they reported the abuse.
Annie and Maria Farmer say they were drawn into Jeffrey Epstein’s pedophile world during the 1990s.
While allegations of Epstein’s child sex abuse received widespread press attention last year, Maxwell was initially painted as merely an “ex-girlfriend,” “associate” or “friend” of the billionaire pedophile.
As the story progressed a more sinister image of Maxwell has emerged.
According to a New York Times article, the sisters both vividly recall being sexually assaulted by both Epstein and Maxwell in the summer of 1996, when Maria was 25 and Annie was just 16.
Dailymail.co.uk reports: Their attempts to report the alleged abuse were met by vicious threats from Maxwell and disbelief from law enforcement and members of the community she and Epstein had significant influence in.
‘I did not want another young lady to go through what Annie went through,’ Maria said of her attempts to get justice.
‘I could handle what happened to me. I could not handle what happened to her.’
More than 20 years later, Maria is still reeling from her time in Epstein’s circle. It wasn’t until after he died earlier this month and she moved to a new home out of the public eye that she felt safe enough to revisit the full story.
Maria said she was a 25-year-old New York Academy of Art student when she was introduced to Epstein and Maxwell at an exhibit shortly before her graduation in 1996.
She said Epstein offered her a job acquiring art for his personal collection and managing the entrance to a townhouse he was renovating.
25 Years Old Maria Farmer Jeffrey Epstein’s estate in Ohio in 1996, in a photo provided by her representative.
In the months that followed she got a front row seat to Epstein’s ‘odd life’, as the Times puts it.
Maria described Maxwell as a charming and friendly presence who made the women surrounding Epstein feel safe. She also recalled Maxwell frequently heading out and saying: ‘I’ve got to go get girls for Jeffrey.’
‘They had a driver, and he would be driving along, and Ghislaine would say, ‘Get that girl,’ she said. ‘And they’d stop, and she’d run out and get the girl and talk to her.’
Maria said Maxwell referred to the recruits as ‘nubiles’.
She recounted a time that Epstein hosted several girls and young women for what Maxwell told her was modeling auditions for a Victoria’s Secret supplier.
She also remembered Donald J Trump visiting the financier’s office and ‘eyeing her’ before Epstein told him: ‘She’s not for you.’
Maria expressed guilty at having accidentally helped Maxwell and Epstein set their sights on her younger sister Annie, who was 16 at the time.
She mentioned that Annie was looking at colleges, and Epstein offered to fly the younger Farmer out to New York from Arizona.
Annie described the first meeting to the Times, revealing that a sweatpants-clad Epstein welcomed her into his home with champagne and conversation about her college plans.
During her visit she went with Maria and Epstein to a movie, where the financier began rubbing her hand and lower leg.
She wrote about the incident in a diary entry from January 1996, which reads: ‘It was one of those things that just gave me a weird feeling but wasn’t that weird + probably normal.
‘The one thing that kind of weirded me out about it was he let go of my hand when he was talking to Maria.’
Epstein later invited Annie to visit his ranch in New Mexico for a weekend and she accepted, expecting that other students would be there as well.
When she arrived and found it was only her, Epstein and Maxwell, the weekend took an uncomfortable turn.
She said Epstein subjected her to more intimate touching, and that one morning he came into her room and got into her bed because he wanted to cuddle.
She remembers Maxwell persuading her to give Epstein a foot massage and then showing Annie how to do it.
Maxwell also repeatedly asked her if she wanted a massage and wore her down until she finally undressed and got on a massage table, where Maxwell groped her bare chest.
‘I don’t think there was any reason for her to be touching me that way,’ Annie said.
Epstein did not participate in the massage, but Annie sensed that he may have been watching the encounter.
Maria was unaware of what went on with her sister at the New Mexico ranch until after her own abusive encounter with the pair.
Around that time, the summer of 1996, Maria was focusing on her painting at Epstein’s estate in Ohio when he and Maxwell came to visit her.
She recalls one night when Epstein asked her to give him a foot massage, saying that during the ‘brief and awkward’ encounter Epstein ‘groaned with what seemed like exaggerated pleasure, followed by a yelp of pain’.
Afterward he invited her to watch TV in his bed and Maxwell joined them, Maria said.
The pair began to violently grope her, ‘rubbing her body, commenting on her features, and twisting her nipples to the point of bruising’, until she ran away and hid.
Maria soon discovered that three nude photographs of Annie and their then-12-year-old sister, who had modeled for her paintings, had gone missing from the storage box where she kept them.
During her desperate search for the intimate photos Maria called her art mentor, Eric Fischl, and told him about the disturbing incident with Maxwell and Epstein.
‘I just kept telling Maria: “You’ve got to get out of there. You’ve got to get out of there,”‘ Fischl told the Times more than two decades later.
The girls’ father Frank Farmer picked Maria up from the estate.
Maria confided in Annie soon after and learned that she had similar experiences with Epstein and Maxwell.
After Maria returned to New York she got a call from Maxwell, who threatened to burn all of her artwork and ruin her career.
The call prompted Maria to file a report with the NYPD about the Ohio assault and the stolen art.
Officers referred her to other agencies, including the FBI, because the assault was out of their jurisdiction, Maria said.
She said she spoke with an FBI agent but received little support and was not told whether any action would be taken.
Maria would go on to share her story with others in the art community who knew Epstein, but got the impression that none believed her.
In 2003 she and Annie gave their story to a Vanity Fair reporter commissioned to write an article about Epstein’s finances and proclivity for young girls, but when it came out it had no mention of the Farmers.
Years later that reporter, Vicky Ward, said the article went in a different direction because they couldn’t corroborate what the girls had said.
Ward accused Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter of squashing the story under pressure from Epstein.
Maxwell caught wind of the story and allegedly told Maria: ‘Better be careful and watch your back. I know you go to the West Side Highway all the time. While you’re out there, just be really careful because there are a lot of ways to die there.’