‘Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich’ is a tough watch. As it pans out the activities of Jeffrey Epstein and his carefully mapped out systemic web of child prostitution, one is forced to sit back and think of the multitude of women who have been part of such systemic violence. While they haven’t been met with the kind of justice they deserve, what has come a long way is the survivors’ courage to speak up about one of the darkest memories of their life, growing up.
In the first episode of the documentary series, we are introduced to the Farmer sisters who came incredibly close to getting their stories of abuse heard. But, what they or anyone else could not fathom was the kind of power and hold Epstein had over the upper rung of influential individuals in the society.
Who Are Maria Farmer and Annie Farmer?
Maria and Annie are sisters, coming from a family of 5 siblings, in Kentucky. Maria Farmer came to New York to study at the New York Academy of Art in 1993. It was at her graduate exhibition that she came across Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Epstein was the board member of the academy at the time. She was asked to sell her painting that was already sold for $ 12,000 to Epstein for just half the price. Though she did not want to do this, she was promptly urged by Eileen Guggenheim to do so. She was then commissioned to work for him in New Albany, Ohio.
This is where she was subjected to sexual abuse in the name of a massage at the hands of Epstein and Maxwell. After being held against her will, she was later allowed to leave when her father came to pick her up. However, trouble was far from over when Maria learned that her sister, Annie, too, had fallen a victim at the hands of Epstein.
Annie Farmer was just 16 years old when Epstein promised to give her the education and necessary exposure in both Thailand and Vietnam. But prior to this, she too was sexually assaulted, by both Epstein and Maxwell, in his Zorro Ranch in New Mexico. Though the sisters tried to file a case with the NYPD, they dismissed it, stating that these crimes were out of their jurisdiction. The two then reported the crime to the FBI, to see no active investigation into the matter. In 2002, their stories were heard by Vicky Ward, who was writing a business article on Epstein for Vanity Fair at that time. Despite them coming forward to share their experience, which would have proved vital at the time, the article was not allowed to run by the then editor, Graydon Carter. Both Carter and Ward received threats from Epstein. While Ward was still determined to run the story, Carter put an end to it.
Another disturbing detail was how Epstein stole the pictures of the three sisters that Maria had in her possession to make her art. At the time, their youngest sister was only 12. Living in hiding most of the time under constant threat, Maria Farmer could not work as an artist for the longest time. While Annie Farmer grew up to be a psychologist, the road to partial justice was still tough. It was only in 2019 that the sisters got a chance to give their testimonies with other victims in court against Epstein. While it was cut abruptly with Epstein killing himself, the two have remained committed to sharing their experiences for the larger good.
Where are Maria and Annie Farmer Now?
Maria Farmer rekindled her passion for art after Epstein was put behind bars. At the beginning of 2020, she came out to the public with her artwork titled ‘The Survivors Project.’ This includes portraits of several survivors. In addition to this, she made a map art, projecting her version of the whole gambit of abuse at the hands of Epstein and several others who were close to him.
After she shared her experience, in May 2020, there was a petition calling for the dismissal of Eileen Guggenheim from her post as chair of the school’s board of trustees. This comes after her alleged involvement in recruiting students for Epstein and not investigating his motive. Unfortunately, Maria Farmer was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2019, and this year, she was also diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In an attempt to help her with her treatment, fellow survivor, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, created a Go Fund Me page, to raise financial aid for her treatment.
— ArtisticWhistleBlower, WIDE AWAKE (@ArtisticBlower) May 15, 2020
Annie Farmer works as a psychologist in Texas and deals primarily with the therapy. She mostly works with victims of sexual abuse of any kind. She has participated in a lot of interviews, creating awareness and speaking about the specificity of her abuse at the hands of Epstein and Maxwell. In an interview with ABC News, she said: “The proper ending to this story would have to include more transparency and an actual apology to the women involved.” Like many, she was also disappointed to know about where the case stands at the moment.
So very disappointing! https://t.co/meOXyy6nOh
— annie farmer (@anniefarmer) April 16, 2020
She also spoke about her struggle with privacy once she chose to speak about the issue in public. She now speaks on behalf of her sister Maria, who is now undergoing treatment.
It has been heartbreaking to see my sister so sick, but we finally have some answers and a path for treatment. It means the world to me that @VRSVirginia & @pinkPeptobismol have put together this fundraiser to help. All support is so appreciated! https://t.co/ujEA3cOkX7
— annie farmer (@anniefarmer) April 30, 2020
Read More: Where is Virginia Roberts Giuffre Now?