He appeared anything but anxious on Wednesday when he walked the red carpet with supermodel Iman at the Venice Film Festival.
The Keating connection was not the only international tentacle of the Epstein scandal to reach Australia this week, with Cairns-based Virginia Roberts Giuffre in the spotlight when she fronted the media in New York on Wednesday.
Roberts Giuffre was speaking outside a New York courthouse after more than 20 women who claim to have been sexually abused by Epstein testified about their experiences.
“He knows what he’s done and he can attest to that,” Roberts Giuffre said when asked if she had any words for the Duke of York.
“He knows exactly what he’s done and I hope he comes clean about it.”
Roberts Giuffre claimed in a 2015 US civil lawsuit that she was recruited to perform sexual acts on Epstein when she was a 15-year-old working at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.
She claimed she was recruited by Jeffrey Epstein’s associate and ex-lover Ghislaine Maxwell to give Epstein massages when she was a teenager. Maxwell and Roberts Giuffre eventually reached an undisclosed settlement.
PS revealed last week Katherine Keating was photographed with Maxwell on a variety of occasions in New York and that she had been a guest at Maxwell’s home. Of course, there is no reason to suspect that Keating was in any way involved in Epstein’s crimes or the allegations against Maxwell, just simply that she knew the pair.
It was Roberts Giuffre who dominated headlines this week after managing to break free from the depraved billionaire’s circle and relocate to Australia.
In 2003, at the age of 19, Roberts Giuffre says Epstein lost interest in her because she “was too old for him”.
During a trip to Thailand that year, which was funded by the billionaire, Roberts Giuffre met an Australian man and fell in love.
She soon relocated to Australia and married Robert Giuffre, initially settling on the Central Coast before relocating to Cairns. The couple have three children.
Ever since she launched legal action four years ago, Roberts Giuffre has found herself at the centre of one of the world’s biggest scandals.
Despite being thousands of kilometres away in Queensland, she has been pursued by the world’s media now for years.
Woman’s Day photographed the young family in Cairns last year, capturing covert shots of Roberts Giuffre drinking beer and playing the pokies at a local watering hole.
The magazine quoted her aunt Carol in an accompanying story saying: “She met Robbie and turned her life around.”
Sydney model sent to stay with controversial agent in paris
Among the many startling allegations from Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s lawsuit, one centred on a pair of 12-year-old French girls, believed to be sisters, who were claimed to be a “gift” from Epstein’s long-time acquaintance and frequent guest, the French modelling agent Jean-Luc Brunel. Epstein’s death means these allegations might never be resolved.
The Frenchman is a familiar name around Sydney’s older fashion industry figures, those who worked in the business during the 1990s and early 2000s, including former Sydney model Zoe Brock, who at 17 was sent to live at Brunel’s home in Paris by her then Sydney agent Stuart Cameron, who worked for Chadwick’s at the time.
Cameron, who has also managed Elle Macpherson and Sarah Murdoch but is no longer in the business, said he remembered Brock “well” but knew nothing of her claims about Brunel. He said it was common that Australian models would be handled by multiple agents around the world, including Brunel.
Brock, who now lives in New Zealand, told PS her mother had been “specifically” told that living at Brunel’s home would be the “safest place” for a girl from Sydney to be.
“What my mother and I didn’t know at the time was that three years before Brunel had featured on America’s 60 Minutes in a story about demanding sex from young models … I think there were plenty of girls from Sydney and Australia that were sent to him in Paris back then.”
Brock claims that Brunel, who has denied he was involved in any of Epstein’s crimes, attempted to ruin her modelling career in Paris after she refused his sexual advances.
Epstein, who was found dead in his prison cell on August 10 before he was due to face more child sex charges, was a major investor in Brunel’s modelling business.
Epstein’s death came 24 hours after more than 2000 pages of legal documents detailing the lurid allegations of his sexual abuse of underage girls were unsealed.
Three former Brunel models have told The Guardian they were sexually assaulted by Brunel in and near Paris throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Allegations of misconduct against the French model scout, 72, date back decades, however he has never faced any legal action.
Back in the saddle for Palmer
It does not get much more “method” than Teresa Palmer’s preparation for playing Michelle Payne, the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup, in the upcoming film Ride Like A Girl.
Having not ridden a horse much since she was a 12-year-old, Palmer, 33, found herself in the capable hands of horse wrangler and Victoria Racing Club clerk of the course Peter Patterson.
Palmer, who graces next week’s issue of Harper’s Bazaar Australia, says Patterson was “the most brilliant teacher. I couldn’t have done it without him.”
The pair trained Monday to Friday and Palmer was definitely pushed to her limits, sometimes instructed to ride bareback with her arms out, which she says was a nerve-racking technique that required super human strength and balance.
Indeed it was good training when her horse, Lord, bolted between takes.
“We were shooting the scene at Flemington and Peter was riding the safety horse, telling me to ‘hold the F on!’ I was in the jockey position, becoming so fatigued my legs were shaking, waiting for my moment he would slow down to a canter so I could jump off. All I remember is praying. A few days later I made myself get back on.”
Director Rachel Griffiths described that moment as the worst three minutes of her life.
“Teresa rode 2400 metres hard on the rail in Michelle’s actual Melbourne Cup saddle.”
Ride Like A Girl is Palmer’s 27th film and Griffiths first as a director. It opens on September 26.
Who’s that girl?
There’s a great song in the adult puppet show Avenue Q called Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist, and it certainly rang true during this week’s controversy over Who magazine falling victim to a name bungle which resulted in a large photo of model Flavia Lazarus being published alongside an interview with international supermodel Adut Akech in last week’s edition.
Akech, who has been championed by the Australian fashion and wider media as a pioneer in terms of helping to break negative stereotypes around Australia’s African youth, was so upset she claimed it would not have happened if she was white.
Her comments unleashed a storm of debate over whether it amounted to racism – subconsciously or otherwise.
There is a rich history of famous faces – many of them white – being confused, and some of them quite amusingly so.
Australia’s very own Isla Fisher admits she has been mistaken for American actor Amy Adams countless times.
She went on the Today show in 2016 to reveal the error happened so often “my husband (Sacha Baron Cohen) and I, one year for our holiday greeting card, I cut and pasted Amy Adams’ face over mine so it was Sacha, Amy and the kids… and no one noticed!
“Everyone was like, ‘Oh, your card was so cute.’ I’m like, ‘it was a joke! It’s not me – it’s Amy!”
PS has been left in a total state of confusion covering events like the Logies red carpet when a herd of Home & Away or Neighbours newbies come galloping past, or trying to distinguish one of the hundreds of blonde, pert and flawless Instagram “influencers” dressed in identical active-wear.
Even Margot Robbie once confused an eyeglass-wearing Prince Harry for Ed Sheeran at a house-warming party.
“When I saw him in those glasses, I was like, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t know Ed Sheeran was at the party!'” she recalled of the mistake. “He got really offended. He was like ‘Shut up.'”
Where there’s a will, there’s a delay
Television pioneer Reg Grundy’s widow has postponed the gala memorial being planned for the Sydney Opera House next month.
Joy Chambers Grundy had invited 300 plus of Australia’s leading lights in the television industry to commemorate the life and times of her late husband, some three years after he died aged 93.
However with a hearing date scheduled for next May over the battle for the $800 million Grundy estate, PS hears Chambers Grundy decided it was best the memorial happen afterwards, lest it jeopardise the proceedings.
Chambers Grundy had previously been admonished by Justice Geoff Lindsay in the Supreme Court when she gave an ill-advised “exclusive” interview to The Daily Telegraph in October 2017 “to explain her case” for opposing her stepdaughter Viola La Valette’s claim on her late husband’s estate.
PS understands that regardless of whatever date the memorial is held on, La Valette will not be on the guest list.
Andrew Hornery is a senior journalist and Private Sydney columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald.