Interview reveals how Ghislaine Maxwell killed Vanity Fair exposé

Ghislaine Maxwell savaged a Vanity Fair reporter nearly 20 years ago to help bury an exposé of her sex crimes — while claiming pedophile Jeffrey Epstein was generous and “very, very good” to his accusers, according to a newly released transcript of her rare interview.

Maxwell, now 60, did not testify during her sex-trafficking trial, in which her legal team insisted she was an innocent scapegoat for the “bad behavior” of Epstein, her late ex and longtime companion.

But she did speak out in 2002 — in a fiery interview that, like the planned exposé, never ran in Vanity Fair. Instead, the mag published a flattering puff piece titled “The Talented Mr. Epstein.”

Reporter Vicky Ward said it was her “eternal regret” that the magazine did not run the accusations by Maria Farmer and her sister Annie, whose testimony was key in Maxwell’s conviction this week.

Ward finally posted the full exchange with Maxwell on her Substack Thursday — saying it showed the disgraced British socialite “lied to me about not giving Annie Farmer a massage” and also repeatedly hailed Epstein’s “generosity” to his accusers.

“I just can’t even think how to respond to something so horrible,” Maxwell had told Ward in the call sparked by a fax from the mag’s fact checkers.

Vanity Fair reporter Vicky Ward says Ghislaine Maxwell lied to her about not sexually assaulting Annie Farmer.
SDNY

“The implication is thoroughly outrageous. Thoroughly untrue. And in every which way disgusting. And I cannot be party to anything like that,” she said, according to the transcript.

“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 insisted at the time.

“They benefited hugely from this man,” she insisted, calling Ward “crazy” for considering running an interview with “two girls who are making stupid allegations.”

“I can tell you something. Those two girls got a lot of Jeffrey’s generosity. He was very, very good to them,” she said, without elaborating.

“I can tell you that nothing untoward happened whatsoever,” she again insisted, saying she was “horrified” at the “gross” allegations.

Maxwell — a close pal of Prince Andrew used to rubbing shoulders with world leaders — also expressed clear shock that the reporter would even consider running the story after her denial.

“You’re going to believe her over me? Is that what you’re saying to me?” she asked Ward, according to the transcript.

“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,” she asked.

When Ward repeatedly stressed that she was just sharing the sisters’ words, the daughter of disgraced tabloid mogul Robert Maxwell accused her of “the lowest thing the tabloid does.”

Audrey Strauss, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, points to a photo of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, during a news conference in New York.
In a 2002 interview with Vanity Fair, Ghislaine Maxwell insisted that two trafficked girls “benefited greatly from Jeffrey’s generosity.”
AP Photo/John Minchillo, File

“I’ve been in journalism just as long as you have,” the daughter of late media titan Robert Maxwell claimed, telling Ward her behavior was “absolutely and utterly wrong.”

“Are you crazy? Vicky, I am not responding to two girls who are making stupid allegations that you want to print,” she told the journalist.

“This is a thousand million miles away from anything that I want to be party to … I will not respond to something so gross. It’s gross! The implication is grotesque,” she complained.

In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell enters the courtroom escorted by U.S. Marshalls at the start of her trial, Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, in New York.
Vicky Ward claims Vanity Fair didn’t run her scathing interview with Ghislaine Maxwell because of Jeffrey Epstein’s relationship with editor Graydon Carter.
AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams

During Maxwell’s trial, Annie Farmer repeated her claim that Maxwell gave her a nude massage and groped her as a teen.

Maxwell defense attorney Laura Menninger sought to downplay the sexual nature of the massage during the trial. Maxwell, however, had denied it ever happened during her 2002 call with Ward.

“Every single person who comes to the ranch gets a massage,” she admitted of Epstein’s home in New Mexico.

Ghislaine Maxwell, the Jeffrey Epstein associate accused of sex trafficking, is led into court in shackles for a pre-trial hearing ahead of jury selection, expected to begin later in the week, in a courtroom sketch in New York City, U.S., November 1, 2021.
Ghislaine Maxwell attempted to intimidate Vanity Fair reporter Vicky Ward, calling the magazine a “tabloid.”
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

But “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 insisted at the time.

She repeated the same denial several times, telling Ward, “It wasn’t me! Are you crazy?”

Ward said that her grilling of Maxwell showed that she did her “journalistic duty” as she prepared to tell “both sides of this ugly story.”

Ghislaine Maxwell listens as Juan Alessi who worked full-time for Jeffrey Epstein from 1991 to 2002, is cross-examined by defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca during the trial of Maxwell.
Ghislaine Maxwell called Vanity Fair reporter Vicky Ward’s sexual abuse allegations “thoroughly outrageous” and “disgusting.”
REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

“But Vanity Fair had other plans,” she wrote, noting how the Farmers’ allegations were cut after Epstein also visited editor Graydon Carter in his office.

“Carter has said I didn’t have sufficient reporting. I disagree,” she wrote.

But nearly 20 years later, Maxwell’s words are “very revealing,” especially because the madam never gave evidence in court, Ward wrote.

“What this conversation shows is Maxwell’s entitlement — and her belief that money trumps all,” Ward noted.

“It was ‘crazy’ that I could believe strangers over her and report the on-record allegations. It was also outrageous to think she would have time to give people massages. And how lucky these two girls were to benefit from Epstein’s generosity.

“Right there, in this conversation is everything you need to know,” she said.

A lawyer for Maxwell did not respond to a request for comment.