‘It is so repellent and disgusting to me and so thoroughly and absolutely untrue,’ Maxwell told journalist about abuse she was later convicted of
The convicted child sex-trafficker warned Vicky Ward in 2002 against publishing an interview with Annie Farmer, whose testimony in a Manhattan federal courthouse helped secure five guilty verdicts on sex-trafficking and grooming charges.
Ms Ward, the host and producer of new documentary Chasing Ghislaine, released a full transcript of the interview on her Maxwell Unfiltered substack in which Maxwell claimed Ms Farmer had lied about the encounter.
A furious Maxwell calls Ms Farmer a “liar” and pleads with Ms Ward not to run the article.
“Vicky, it is so repellent and disgusting to me and so thoroughly and absolutely untrue, in every respect, in every which way,” Maxwell said, according to the transcript.
“I just can’t even think how to respond to something so horrible. The implication is thoroughly outrageous. Thoroughly untrue. And in every which way disgusting. And I cannot be party to anything like that.
“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.”
Ms Farmer told Ms Ward she was lured to Epstein’s Zorro ranch in 1996 aged 16 after being told the late paedophile would pay for her college tuition fees.
But once there, she told the jury how Maxwell performed a sexualised massage on her as a precursor to Epstein’s abuse.
Ms Farmer’s story has remained consistent over the years; she recounted it again in an interview for the 2020 Netflix documentary Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich.
She was the only one of four victims to testify under her own name during Maxwell’s trial, and has been widely praised for her bravery in coming forward.
Prosecutors also called Ms Farmer’s mother, Janice Swain, and former boyfriend David Mulligan, who corroborated her testimony.
Defence attorney Laura Menninger attacked Ms Farmer’s credibility on the stand, at one point asking if telling her story publicly had helped her career as a psychologist.
Writing on Substack, Ms Ward said the transcript of her conversation with Maxwell is revealing because “it tells us – in her own words – who Maxwell really is and what she values”.
Maxwell declined to testify in her own defence. Instead her attorneys attacked the credibility of the victims, painting them as unreliable witnesses who were motivated by money.
Ms Farmer and her sister Maria were interviewed by Ms Ward in 2002, but their allegations of abuse were edited out of an infamous Vanity Fair article, “The Talented Mr Epstein”.
Former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter has said the allegations by the Farmer sisters were removed because they failed to meet the magazine’s editorial standards.
“We had great lawyers and a great fact-checking team and a great legal editor, and the accusations didn’t make it into print,” Mr Carter told the New York Times in 2019.
Ms Ward refutes this, saying in numerous interviews that she was told to tone the piece down by Mr Carter.
“It came down to my sources’ word against Epstein’s.” she wrote for The Daily Beast in 2015.
“At the time Graydon believed Epstein.”
Maxwell, 60, was found guilty on five of the six counts she faced, including sex-trafficking a minor. She faces a maximum sentence of 65 years in prison.
On Thursday, Ms Farmer told ABC’s Good Morning America the verdicts were “one important step” towards justice.
“It’s a tremendous relief,” she said.
“I wasn’t sure that this day would ever come.”