The Snake Pit Episode 3 – Epstein & Eileen Guggenheim

Listen here:

bcce7145-669a-43d6-b14f-5f5b1acbeb05-4Introducing Eileen Guggenheim, an art administrator with a memory problem, when it comes to Jeffrey Epstein.

Did she visit Zorro Ranch? How did she meet survivor Maria Farmer? What does she know, if anything?

This is Lisa with The Snake Pit, chapter 3.

Maria Farmer was in 1996 Epstein’s first accuser. She still fears for her life today.

How did she meet Epstein and his chronies?

Farmer first met Epstein at her graduate thesis show when Eileen Guggenheim, the academy’s dean, introduced her and encouraged her to sell the dead sex offender a painting at half price. 

Guggenheim told The New York Times that she does not remember this interaction.

According to Artnet News: “The summer of 1995 was poised to be a dream come true for one group of recent graduates from the New York Academy of Art. They were the select few who’d been chosen from their class to go on an all-expenses-paid trip to New Mexico to study under the prestigious painter Eric Fischl, to attend the debut of the newly launched Site Santa Fe biennial, and to meet with a wealthy benefactor who wanted to buy emerging artists’ work.

The “patron” was said to be building a vast mansion on his ranch in New Mexico and, at the end of the trip, would commission one of the students to paint a mural at the completed house.”

Yep Zorro Ranch.

Art net News continued: “The alumnae say they were brought to the ranch by Eileen Guggenheim, then dean of students at the New York Academy of Art and now chair of its board, who was friendly with Epstein because he had been an academy trustee for the past seven years.”

When Artnet News first reported Maria Farmer’s account of how Guggenheim encouraged her relationship with Epstein, in part by a world bringing her to the ranch, Guggenheim responded that the story was “a serious mischaracterization. I have never been at Mr. Epstein’s home in Santa Fe.”

But she had been to Epstein’s Zorro Ranch.

“A Second alumna contacted Artnet News to corroborate Farmer’s story—saying that she, too, had been at the ranch that day and confirming that the meeting with Epstein, Guggenheim, and the students did indeed happen. “Guggenheim’s misrepresentation appears to aim at dismissing Farmer’s concerns—but kind of raises new ones,” she wrote.

A third former student confirmed that the trip with New York Academy of Art students to Epstein’s home occurred, and that Guggenheim was present, but remembered few further details.”

“There may be some confusion about my visit 25 years ago to Mr. Epstein’s property,” Guggenheim told Artnet News when asked about the additional accounts. “What I remember is visiting an old-fashioned Western town that Mr. Epstein had apparently purchased and was under construction. To the best of my recollection, I did not visit any home there or have a meal there.”

According to Maria Farmer, before the visit, the art administrator was calling her at home.

She said there was a famous artist in the UK – go there and be his concubine. His name was Cy Twombly. The administrator said she was going to be his lover and his life partner. “They do this for money.” 

Farmer added Guggenheim was “as tight as ticks” with Ghislaine Maxwell.

Epstein had also stolen art from many student artists. One was mentally ill.  Maria’s lawyers had to file to get her art back. 

She called what Epstein did as  “Stealing from destitute artists”.

Farmer added Guggenheim would use students as hired help. 

“They always called me a nobody. Who is the nobody now?” 

They were paid $10 an hour. “Because the academy.”

Guggenheim maintained she knew nothing of Epstein’s crimes.

“Had any student expressed to me their personal discomfort over actions by Mr. Epstein,” she told Artnet News in an email, “I would have immediately addressed the situation and offered my support. At that time, however, neither I nor anyone at the New York Academy of Art had any knowledge of Mr. Epstein’s predatory behavior.” (Epstein was first jailed for sex crimes in 2008.)

But Maria said she had taken her concerns about Epstein to Ms Guggenheim. She said she called Guggenheim in fear that an Epstein associate was going to kill and rape her.

“I was sobbing and said Epstein and Maxwell are sick people and I think I could have been raped,” Farmer said. In response, Guggenheim “blamed me and mocked me,” she claims. Guggenheim said she does not recall this call.

Sounds like the old duck needs some fish oil to improve her memory.

To help support Maria in her battle against cancer:

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