Epstein Said to Have Threatened Vanity Fair Editor Graydon Carter With Decapitated Cat
Longtime Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter came under fire recently over allegations he spiked reporting on Jeffrey Epstein’s predilection for underaged girls from a profile written about the wealthy financier decades ago. A stunning new NPR report reveals some of the lengths Epstein may have gone to scare Carter off the rumors, while Vanity Fair profiled the convicted pedophile who just killed himself in a Manhattan prison.
The threats include a bullet placed outside Carter’s Manhattan townhouse and the severed heat of a dead cat placed outside his Connecticut home.
NPR media reporter David Folkenflik reported Thursday that in 2003, Carter assigned Vanity Fair reporter Vicky Ward to look into Epstein after the mysterious financier flew former Presiden Bill Clinton on his jet.
Ward ended up interviewing two sisters — Maria and Annie Farmer — who claimed they were sexually assaulted by Epstein. Maria, who claimed she was assaulted by Epstein and his girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, was just 15 at the time.
While the story was being reported, Epstein made a surprise visit to the Vanity Fair offices. John Connolly, then a contributing editor at the mag, told NPR that Epstein berated Carter. “He was torturing Graydon,” Connolly said, adding that Epstein flooded the Vanity Fair editor with calls denying any wrongdoing.
The story was eventually published in 2003 — without the Famers’ allegations of abuse. In defending the decision to strip the story of the allegations, Carter said Ward did not have three sources on the record, his threshold to publish.
The Farmer sisters confirmed to NPR they spoke to Ward on the record, by name. Their mother, Janice Farmer, also confirmed she spoke to Ward on the record.
NPR’s Folkenflik reported that Carter eventually revised his previous claim on needing three sources, claiming Ward didn’t have three sources that met Vanity Fair’s “legal threshold.”
“We spoke on the record. Our mother spoke on the record,” the sisters told NPR.
After the publication of the article Carter received a terrifying threat, Connolly told NPR. A bullet was “placed right outside his front door at his Manhattan home,” per NPR.
“That wasn’t a coincidence,” Connolly said. Another Vanity Fair staffer said Carter expressed his fear the bullet was a message from Epstein.
Then, when Connolly began reporting on Epstein in 2006 when law enforcement officials were pursuing a case against him in Florida, Carter was again targeted.
As Connolly pursued interviews with women who had worked for Epstein, he says, Carter called him once more. The editor had found another intrusion, this time in the front yard of his Connecticut home: the severed head of a dead cat.
“It was done to intimidate,” Connolly tells NPR. “No question about it.” (Others who worked for Vanity Fair at the time said the cat’s head was the talk of the office.)
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