Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘madam’ Ghislaine Maxwell has been accused of sexually abusing two young sisters after helping to draw them into the pedophile’s orbit in the 1990s.
When the damning and disturbing sex abuse allegations against Epstein began flowing out at an unprecedented speed last year, Maxwell was initially painted as merely a ‘friend’, ‘ex-girlfriend’ and ‘associate’ of the millionaire financier.
As the story progressed a darker imaged emerged as she was accused of actively helping to recruit young girls by promising to promote their careers if they joined him at his various lavish properties across the US and abroad.
The darkest portrayal yet emerged this week in a New York Times profile on Annie and Maria Farmer, who spent a significant amount of time with Epstein and Maxwell in the 1990s and claim that the pair engaged in abuse together.
The sisters both vividly recall being groped by Epstein and Maxwell in the summer of 1996, when Maria was 25 and Annie was 16.
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.
Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘madam’ Ghislaine Maxwell has been accused of groping two young sisters after helping to draw them into the pedophile’s orbit in the 1990s
Maria Farmer recounted the dark year she spent in Epstein’s orbit in an article published by the New York Times on Monday. She was 25 when she met Epstein in 1996 and later introduced her 16-year-old sister Annie to him
Annie Farmer is seen outside US Federal Court in New York City on July 15, 2019, following a detention hearing for Epstein. The hearing came more than two decades after Annie claims she was abused at Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico
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.
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 described Maxwell as a charming and friendly presence who made the women surrounding Epstein feel safe in his presence. She also recalled Maxwell frequently heading out and saying: ‘I’ve got to go get girls for Jeffrey’
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.’
Maria eventually abandoned her dream of becoming an artist because of the influence Epstein and Maxwell had in the industry.
She spent years in therapy trying to erase Epstein’s impact and even underwent breast reduction surgery because she was haunted by his and Maxwell’s comments about her chest.
Annie Farmer is seen speaking at Epstein’s bail hearing in Manhattan on July 15
In 2006 she was given new hope of justice when FBI agents contacted during their investigation into allegations of underage sex abuse by Epstein in Florida.
That investigation resulted in a sweetheart plea deal that landed Epstein in jail for just XX months.
The Farmers’ said the outcome of that case was ‘deeply demoralizing’.
Everything resurfaced in 2018 when the Miami Herald published a report about the plea deal, sparking an onslaught of allegations that led to Epstein being charged again this summer.
Hearing all of the new allegations caused Maria renewed pain as she wonders if she could have stopped him earlier by pushing her own story harder and louder.
‘Every time I hear one of the girls tell their story, it devastates me,’ she said.
She began working with lawyer David Boies in support of other victims but still feared the consequences of coming forward with her own again, even after Epstein died of an apparent suicide on August 10.
Maria recently moved to a new home in the South for increased privacy. She finally picked up painting again after relocating.
Meanwhile, Maxwell is also trying to keep a low-profile.
She hasn’t been seen in public since 2016 but is said to be living in the small community of Manchester-By-The-Sea in Massachusetts.