On Thursday, the British socialite was awaiting arraignment on a six-count indictment which alleges she groomed and abused three minor victims between 1994 and 1997. One of those survivors was Annie Farmer, who along with her older sister, Maria, came forward last year as victims of Epstein and Maxwell.
Maxwell happened to be put in handcuffs on Annie’s 41st birthday.
“This means the world. This is justice. This is what justice looks like. I’ve never had it. It’s so beautiful,” Maria Farmer, 50, told The Daily Beast.
As The Daily Beast reported, Maria says she was allegedly assaulted by the wealthy couple in 1996, at the home of Limited Brands mogul Leslie Wexner. Annie was molested that year while visiting Epstein’s New Mexico ranch.
Although Maria contacted both the NYPD and FBI about Epstein in the '90s, authorities didn’t appear to investigate her claims.
The sisters spoke to journalist Vicky Ward for a 2003 Vanity Fair profile on the mysterious financier, but their accusations were cut from the final draft.
The Farmers spoke out again last year after Maria filed an affidavit in Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s defamation suit against longtime Epstein pal Alan Dershowitz.
Maria says she’s waited 20 years for Epstein and Maxwell to be held accountable.
“It’s the best news I’ve ever gotten in my life. I don’t have to hide anymore. I’m safe,” said Maria, who is battling two forms of cancer. Earlier this week, she told The Daily Beast she feared the criminal case would die with Epstein, who killed himself in August 2019, before he could face trial for his alleged sex crimes.
“When you wait a quarter of a century for something, it’s pretty exciting when it happens,” Maria said through happy tears. “It’s even sweeter, it’s just such a relief. I never thought it would happen.”
“I really feel hopeful that maybe they’ll get some of the perps,” she added. “Maybe they'll go down the list of co-conspirators.” (Epstein’s controversial non-prosecution agreement, inked by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami in 2008, provided immunity to alleged accomplices including Lesley Groff, Adriana Ross, Sarah Kellen, and Nadia Marcinkova.)
Teresa Helm, who says she was trafficked to Epstein in 2002, told The Daily Beast on Wednesday she was “sleepless” over the fact that Maxwell and other co-conspirators like Kellen, whose married name is Vickers, might avoid charges.
On Thursday morning, she was elated to see Maxwell had been arrested. “My jaw fell to the floor. I couldn’t believe it. I’m overwhelmed,” Helm told The Daily Beast. “I was fighting this battle on my own for so long. It’s liberating.”
Helm was 22 and attending a California massage school when she was introduced to Kellen, who offered her the chance to be a traveling masseuse for a wealthy couple. Kellen then arranged for Helm to meet Maxwell in New York.
After Helm gave Maxwell a normal massage, Maxwell informed her she would soon meet Epstein at his Manhattan townhouse. She warned Helm to give Epstein “whatever he wants” during his massage because he “always gets what he wants.”
Epstein assaulted Helm when she visited that day, and it’s a secret she kept for 17 years—until Epstein was arrested in July 2019 and she decided to phone police.
“It’s a good day!” Helm said on Thursday.
Jennifer Araoz was standing outside her Manhattan performing arts high school in 2001 when a young woman recruited her for Epstein. She was 14 years old when Epstein began abusing her. When she was 15, according to her amended complaint, Epstein “forcibly raped” her.
Last year, Araoz filed a lawsuit against Epstein’s estate which also named Maxwell and two of Epstein’s assistants, including Groff, as defendants.
In a statement, Araoz said she and fellow survivors were “able to take a breath of relief, as Maxwell’s arrest means some justice for survivors can exist.”
“For years, I feared Epstein and his ring,” Araoz said. “Maxwell was the center of that sex trafficking ring. Now that the ring has been taken down, I know that I can’t be hurt anymore. Day after day, I have waited for the news that Maxwell would be arrested and held accountable for her actions. Her arrest is a step in that direction, and it truly means that the justice system didn’t forget about us.”
Courtney Wild, who was abused by Epstein in Palm Beach in the 2000s, filed a lawsuit against the government for violating the Crime Victims’ Rights Act by secretly drafting Epstein’s 2008 non-prosecution agreement.
In a statement, Wild said, “The prosecutors in New York have treated this investigation and the many victims with the respect we all deserve. I would like to think that our fight in the Crime Victims’ Rights Act case played a role.
“Today gives me more confidence in our system.”