The former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter was threatened with a stray bullet outside of his Manhattan home and a severed cat head on the front yard of his Connecticut home, possibly put there at the behest of Jeffrey Epstein, according to an NPR report published on Thursday.
In the piece, which also aired on “All Things Considered,” the media reporter David Folkenflik spoke with a former Vanity Fair contributing editor, John Connolly, who remembered receiving calls from Carter about the two incidents. The first of which, a stray bullet found outside Carter’s front door at his Manhattan home, happened sometime after the release of the magazine’s 2003 Epstein profile, written by Vicky Ward.
Though Connolly said he received the call about the bullet shortly after the piece was published, a spokeswoman for Carter told NPR that the editor remembered it happening in 2004, not 2003.
Three years after the critical profile was published, Connolly, who covered crime and scandal for Vanity Fair, said he went down to Florida in search of a story as the FBI began investigating Epstein. As he began interviewing women who worked for Epstein, Connolly said he received another call from Carter, who had found the severed head of a dead cat on the front yard of his home in Connecticut. Other Vanity Fair employees who worked there at that time also confirmed hearing of the cat head to NPR.
“It was done to intimidate,” Connolly, who went on to write a book about Epstein with James Patterson, said in the report. “No question about it.”
But in a statement sent to New York magazine, Carter rejected the suggestion that his coverage of Epstein was impacted by the two incidents.
“There was no investigation and I have no idea who was responsible, but my wife and I remember attributing them to the work of aggrieved George W. Bush supporters,” he said. “To suggest that either of these incidents affected my editorial judgment is flatly wrong.”