The Sleazeball Peddling Russian Ladies to Billionaires

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Photo Illustation by The Daily Beast/Photos Getty; Alamy
Photograph Illustation by The Day by day Beast/Images Getty; Alamy

ODESSA, Ukraine—Disgust flashed throughout Kristina Goncharova’s delicate options when she heard the identify Peter Listerman.

In Odessa, Ukraine’s swish Black Sea resort, each native trend company and wonder contest organizer is aware of Listerman, a person at all times trying to rent Russian and Ukrainian fashions for his VIP escort businesses. And to 24-year-old Goncharova, Listerman’s identify brings a complete storm of associations with doubtful big-money characters treating teenage women as in the event that they had been animals at a pet retailer. 

Even again in 2016, sources accustomed to the wonder enterprise weren’t shocked to see a report on the New York Publish’s gossipy Web page Six web site connecting Listerman to Jeffrey Epstein: “As a substitute of getting his assistants troll native excessive faculties, the billionaire cash supervisor—and registered intercourse offender—is importing his playmates from Russia.” The article prompt Listerman had been seen visiting Epstein’s condo and famous a TV interview by which Listerman mentioned he launched many oligarchs to Russian fashions, however insisted: “I’m not a pimp, simply [a] matchmaker.”

Now Epstein is held in a federal lockup in Manhattan, dealing with as much as 45 years in jail for molesting and trafficking minors. And Listerman gave the impression to be operating scared as quickly as we began asking questions.

Jeffrey Epstein Arrested for Intercourse Trafficking of Minors

Earlier this month, celebrities arrived right here from all around the world for the 10th annual Odesa Worldwide Movie Competition. Younger Ukrainian fashions took half within the Vogue Weekend occasions, with picture shoots on the seaside. And certain sufficient, Listerman confirmed up as nicely. We discovered him ingesting within the firm of some younger ladies by the pool on the Palace Del Mar lodge. (He was straightforward to trace: he saved posting bawdy movies of himself on the Del Mar or the Dacha restaurant speaking about… intercourse.) 

When requested about his dealings with Epstein, Listerman tried to show his actions right into a joke:  “I invented myths and fairy tales to entertain folks,” Listerman instructed The Day by day Beast. However when pressed to elucidate the small print concerning the alleged site visitors of stripling fashions, he declined to reply and subsequently blocked a reporter on his Instagram and Fb pages.   

What’s sure is that Listerman’s pursuit of potential “matchmaking” expertise is infamous, and for many years the actions of Listerman, a Russian citizen, had been an open ebook. He usually bragged about his enterprise on Russian TV, referring to the ladies he attached with wealthy males as “chickens” or “tyolki,” which implies heifers, younger cows which have by no means been bred. He additionally known as ladies his “shaggy gold,” alluding to pubic hair.

Right here is how he described the kind he’s trying to find in an interview with a Russian tabloid, Komsomolskaya Pravda, throughout his go to to the Siberian metropolis of Krasnoyarsk in 2009: “My Hollywood purchasers and oligarchs are sick of emancipated Muscovites, European and American ladies, who resemble robots. All people is sick of those evil ladies, they need light and romantic!”

Russian and Ukrainian organizers of magnificence contests attempt to distance themselves from Listerman as if from a contagious an infection. Earlier this 12 months Listerman was seen outdoors the luxurious Borvikha live performance corridor in Moscow proper earlier than the Miss Russia 2019 magnificence contest. “The scandalous matchmaker was not allowed even to cross the brink,” Komsomolskaya Pravda reported.

Within the early 2000s, Moscow’s glamorous world of untamed oil cash embraced the cynical philosophy of “Uncle Petia,” as Listerman is usually known as: “God created 50 % of people who find themselves able to promote their guts and 50 % of those that simply fake they can’t however secretly they’re prepared for something,” he mentioned in one in all his interviews. In a 2007 film, Gloss, by Andrei Konchalovsky, a procurer seemingly modeled on Listerman is called Petia. He checks if younger ladies’s toes are light and agile sufficient earlier than sending them off for consideration as mistresses for “a really severe shopper in Sardinia.” One of many fashions Petia sells to an English lord is a virgin.

The Magnificence Queen Machine

For years, Tatiana Savchenko, the founding father of Odessa’s first modeling faculty, has seen the real-life Listerman cruising for her college students at trend reveals and wonder contests. “I’ve heard him strategy ladies at our company together with his standard, ‘Hey, lovely, I’ve a shopper for you!’” Savchenko instructed The Day by day Beast. “It took plenty of work to maintain him from tricking our teen fashions in his traps.”

Goncharova, who was one in all Savchenko’s college students, really educated from the time she was 5 to turn into a magnificence queen. She attended ballet, singing, portray and chess lessons; she realized to talk French and English, to maneuver gracefully, and reply questions on her ambitions. In a current interview with The Day by day Beast, Goncharova mentioned that “the world’s well-known vendor of younger fashions to oligarchs”—Listerman—had been writing “What’s up, Bride-to-Be?” messages to her for years. 

The younger mannequin received the Miss Teen Ukraine contest in 2010 and her dream got here true: she was invited to participate in Miss Teen World in Houston. That was when she acquired the primary, “Hey, Lovely,” message from Listerman, who wished to satisfy together with her. She was 14 years previous. 

Goncharova, a tall, long-limbed Ukrainian mannequin with massive doe eyes is light, romantic—and horrified to listen to about Epstein’s case with such particulars because the “orgy island” and the alleged connection to Listerman. 

“I had sufficient of a mind to show him down after I was a minor however many women search for an opportunity to satisfy with him, say sure to his presents, as he’s paying them way more than €300 [$334], the common of what we make per day working as skilled fashions in Europe,” she mentioned. 

And Listerman is relentless. In 2016, he despatched her non-public messages on Fb each few months. “Hello, Mama, how is Odessa?”; “Is Leonardo DiCaprio with you now?” after which 4 months later: “Hello, Bride-to-Be, have you ever been profitable?”

He knew that as a magnificence queen she was. In 2017 Goncharova received Miss Tourism Worldwide, a contest of fashions from 20 international locations. However clearly Listerman had one other notion of success—hooking up with somebody very wealthy.

At this time, Goncharova says, she realizes that she has been surrounded with women obsessive about desires of American wealth and luxurious since her childhood. The daughter of a mannequin, when she got here to Savchenko’s faculty, Savrox Fashions, on the age of 5 her first instructor was none apart from Oleksandra Nikolayenko, who received Miss Ukraine in 2001.

Later that very same Nikolayenko met Donald Trump’s pal, on line casino and lodge proprietor Phil Ruffin. “Ukrainian fashions and American billionaires discovered their manner to one another at magnificence contests,” Savchenko, who had met Trump and Ruffin at a number of worldwide competitions, instructed The Day by day Beast. “Not all people wanted Listerman’s companies.”

Made Determined by Battle, Odessa’s Girls Look to Mannequin’s Cinderella Story

Savchenko went to the Nikolayenko-Ruffin marriage ceremony at Mar-a-Lago and remembers vividly her encounter with the long run U.S. president: “Donald grabbed me by my waist and whispered compliments that made me blush.”

Youngsters from poor Ukrainian areas, the place 5 years of battle and financial crises have wrought widespread devastation, think about themselves escaping to a modeling profession, perhaps marrying a political chief, a wealthy businessman, or a international sugar daddy.

On a current scouting journey within the Ukrainian metropolis of Kharkiv, the managing organizer of Miss Ukraine Universe, Aleksey Diveyev-Tserkovny, introduced the organizers may flip any lady right into a mannequin. “When 2,000 beauties confirmed up, we determined to simply allow them to rapidly go previous us so we may pull essentially the most lovely ones from the group,” Diveyev-Tserkovny mentioned final week. “However there have been so many lovely women that my head was spinning.” 

When requested about Listerman and Epstein, Diveyev-Tserkovny shook his head in disapproval. “To talk to me about Listerman’s hunt for women is identical as to talk about porn movies to an skilled in art-house movie festivals,” he mentioned. “Listerman has been chasing me, making an attempt to make buddies for a very long time, because the magnificence contest we arrange is No. 1 in Ukraine.” 

The Instagram Pageant

Consciousness of the position procurers play in Russia and Ukraine is slowly on the rise. Some younger ladies have spoken out about sexual abuse and struggling.  However others are posting their nude and semi-nude footage on Instagram. 

“I’m not certain learn how to cease women flocking into escort businesses—simply seek for love in Odessa or in Ukraine and you will note tons of younger ladies revealing their our bodies,” mentioned Savchenko. “The variety of women occupied with magnificence contests is shrinking, changed by an Instagram race for recognition.”

Modeling faculties organizing magnificence contests test each participant’s web page on social media. “We play the position of a filter: if some woman posts her nude footage on Instagram we instantly reject her,” Savchenko added.

Boris Nemtsov, the opposition politician and critic of Vladimir Putin assassinated in 2015, wrote about Listerman in his ebook Confession of a Insurgent. Quickly after Putin’s first election in 2000, Nemtsov, a Russian parliament member on the time, stayed in the identical lodge as Putin and businessman Vladimir Potanin within the French ski resort of Courchevel.

“We come downstairs and see round 10 long-legged women. Potanin and I had been in shock. It seems Petia Listerman, a well-known ‘promoter’ introduced them.”  Nemtsov requested Listerman why he introduced the ladies to the lodge: “However you might be additionally males, in spite of everything,” Listerman mentioned, assuming that defined every part.

The “promoter” has bragged in a number of interviews about discovering Russian mannequin wives for large identify stars, claiming soccer champion Cristiano Ronaldo and NHL star Alex Ovechkin met their spouses via him. He claimed he had a contract with Tatiana Akhmadova for half of all her divorce proceedings after introducing her to billionaire Farkhad Akhmadov. None of these claims have been substantiated in any element.

In any case, there’s extra—or much less—than matrimony on provide for a potential “bride-to-be.”

“Listerman’s enterprise is definitely not nearly marriage—we’re conscious that there’s a global market of fashions equipped to escorts round casinos, yachts and resorts,” Savchenko instructed The Day by day Beast.

It’s uncertain that any of the Russians or Ukrainians that Web page Six seen round Epstein had been there to be life companions.

The issue of human trafficking from and thru Ukraine is big, and never restricted to would-be fashions. In response to the Worldwide Group for Migration, 230,000 Ukrainian ladies, males and youngsters have turn into victims since 1991. However Goncharova, for one, thinks that Ukraine’s new first woman Olena Zelenskaya may do nice service main the anti-sex-traffic marketing campaign and growing consciousness amongst younger folks. 

As for Goncharova herself, after a lifetime of modeling, at 24 she is disillusioned and says she is planning to stop the enterprise.

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