Former media mogul Matías Garfunkel and his wife, model Victoria Vannucci, have been engulfed in scandal after photos of them trophy hunting in South Africa were leaked this morning. Social media has erupted, with “Garfunkel y Vannucci” currently a Trending Topic on Twitter and people expressing their outrage about the pictures featuring the couple sitting on animals they had just killed or squatting next to them with a cigar in their hand.
“I have nothing to say about the photos because they are private and were stolen from our home,” said Vannucci in an interview with Teleshow.com.
Vannucci and Garfunkel are living in Miami now, saying they’ve received many threats, allegedly due to Garfunkel’s former dealings with the 23 Media Group, which ran a network of newspapers, radio stations, news websites and news agencies among other things, with ties to the previous administration. Garfunkel and his partner, Sergio Szpolski, were accused of “stripping the company’s [assets]” after lots of journalists were simply fired at the beginning of the year and their failure to not pay their salaries or their bonuses.
Garfunkel claims that Szpolski is the one who used the company as a money laundering business: they’re unsurprisingly not business partners anymore and Garfunkel is not the most popular of people in Argentina.
“As a new step, due to these leaked private photos that violate our privacy, we are broadening our charges regarding threats that we began last year. We have an inkling of who could be behind this, but the judicial system will be the one to determine that,” added Vannucci.
The Twitter account that leaked the photos is called Mucamas de Garfunkel, which also includes photos of Vannucci naked with other men in an apparent photoshoot which includes Garfunkel. It accuses the pair of “not paying their employees, but spending millions on safaris.”
According to Clarín, which managed to accessed the tour page they hired before it shut down, shooting an elephant cost US$40,000, a buffalo US$12,250, a lion costs US$8,450, a hippotamus US$7,950 and crocodiles are US$6,450. All these animals appear in the leaked photos.
— Mucamas de Garfunkel (@MucamaGarfunkel) October 20, 2016
On the same day as the photos leaked, news broke today that Garfunkel was charged with smuggling on October 12 and his assets were frozen to the tune of AR$35 million. He allegedly smuggled a painting, “The Painted Bridge” by William Russell Flint (valued at US$130,000), “Deux Tapire FACE A FACE”, by Rembrandt Bugatti, (US$307,912) and a “Vautheret” cabinet worth US$627,615.
Those paintings and cabinet were already subject to an embargo under a lawsuit against him filed by his former lawyer, but he took them out of his Belgrano apartment and allegedly sold them at a New York auction house in 2013 (although nobody knows where “The Painted Bridge” currently is). He apparently took them out of the country without the AFIP’s permission. In any case, he probably won’t be booking more trophy hunting tours in the near future.
Asco infinito Garfunkel y Vanucci – Se los dedico, porque el mundo tiene mucha gente buena leche pic.twitter.com/25aNAjMjjq
— Alejando Pálpitos (@Alechaschas) October 21, 2016
“I’m dedicating this to you, Garfunkel and Vannucci, because there *are* good peopl in the world.”
— Gonza Ochoa (@Gonzalo8a05) October 21, 2016
“The worst part is that they play the victim afterward. Garfunkel and Vannucci, I hope the social condemnation never forgives you.”