She worked for him in 1996.
Another woman has come forward in the case against Jeffrey Epstein, accusing him of sexual assault and pedophilia. Jeffrey Epstein, 66, is a financier and philanthropist. He founded his own firm, J. Epstein & Co., in 1982. He also founded the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation, a private science foundation. It established the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard. Epstein is also a registered sex offender. The multimillionaire spent some time in jail in 2008, but according to The Guardian, “...escaped a prosecution that could have seen him jailed for the rest of his life.” Ten years after 40 women accused him of sexual abuse and prostitution, more women are coming forward against Epstein and his attorney, in a case centered around his attorney.
The most recent accuser to step forward is Maria Farmer. Now 49, Farmer has reflected on her interaction with Epstein 23 years ago and publicly detailed some harrowing events that took place when she was a young woman. Who is Maria Farmer? Below are five details about the latest figure to come out against Epstein, and how her allegations add to the case against him and his attorney.
1. She is originally from Kentucky
Farmer is originally from Paducah, Kentucky. The city is on the border of Kentucky and Illinois and is the home of The National Quilt Museum. She opted to leave her landlocked southern home for the West Coast when she was 18. Farmer attended Santa Clara University for her undergraduate education. She then swapped the West for the East, and moved on to the New York Academy of Art to earn her Master’s degree.
2. She worked for Epstein when she was 26
In 1996, Farmer was a graduate student. She worked for Epstein in his mansion on New York’s Upper East Side. She alleges that her work included “manning the door at his New York mansion and keeping records of people who came to the home.” Farmer said that while she was working at his house, she “witnessed a number of school-age girls come to the house, some of the young girls would be wearing their school uniforms,” and these girls would be “escorted upstairs” to interview for “modeling positions.” Farmer said that her younger sister, who was 15 at the time, was molested by Epstein and his “companion,” Ghislaine Maxwell. Farmer alleged that she herself was assaulted as well. She said Epstein and a companion took her into a bedroom and sexually assaulted her. As for her sister, Farmer said that Epstein flew her to New Mexico for a period of time under the guise that he was assisting in her education. Farmer allegedly later discovered that Epstein had molested her. He touched her inappropriately while she was naked on a massage table.
3. She believes she is the first to report Epstein and Maxwell to the FBI
Farmer claims she reported her sexual assault to New York police and the FBI in 1996. “To my knowledge, I was the first person to report Maxwell and Epstein to the FBI,” she wrote in her affidavit. “It took a significant amount of bravery for me to make that call because I knew how incredibly powerful and influential both Epstein and Maxwell were, particularly in the art community.” In FBI documents released Apr. 1, there is a reference to Farmer being interviewed in 2006 or 2007. Farmer says the institution did not take any action against Epstein and Maxwell.
4. Over 30 other women have accused him of sexual abuse in recent years
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, Farmer is not alone, specifically in regards to Epstein. She may have been the first accuser, as she claims, but over recent years, more than 30 women have accused him of sexual abuse. The multimillionaire investor went to court in 2007. He struck a secret deal with federal prosecutors: he pleaded guilty to lesser sex charges in state court, and ended up only serving 13 months of an 18-month sentence in a county jail. His jail time was also unique, as he served in “custody with work release”: he was allowed to spend 16 hours a day outside of prison to work.
5. Her allegations are part of a lawsuit against Epstein’s attorney
Farmer’s claims have been part of a defamation lawsuit against Alan Dershowitz, Epstein’s attorney. Virginia Giuffre alleges that Epstein forced her to have sex with Dershowitz and others when she was 16 years old; Dershowitz claimed that she made up the allegations, so Giuffre is suing him for defamation. She is seeking unspecified damages. She also claims that Dershowitz participated in Epstein’s sex trafficking operation.
Alison Cerri is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.