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Sep 25, 2016
Modal Trigger Michael Taylor and Anne Hardcastle Photo: PCG Asset Management; Instagram She was the wild, blonde seductress. He was the seemingly straight-laced finance guy. And the combo led to disaster. Those who know Anne Hardcastle and Michael Taylor — the Soho couple facing charges of raping and sodomizing a female during this year’s Sundance Film Festival — reveal how the 27-year-old party girl, Hardcastle, led her older beau down a path of deviance. “She was this very strong personality, and he did whatever she wanted him to do.” - Taylor's former colleague The slim Southern Belle had only held a few administrative jobs since college. Taylor, 45 and a former minor-league hockey player, was building a career raising capital for private-equity funds. But Hardcastle had him under her thumb. “He absolutely seemed in love with her,” says a former colleague of Taylor’s. “She was this very strong personality, and he did whatever she wanted him to do.” He says Taylor made it “well known” at work happy hours that Hardcastle “was bisexual.” He adds that Hardcastle and Taylor had an agreement for their sex life: “Anne had a rule that if they were ever to bring another girl into the relationship, [Taylor] wasn’t allowed to basically do anything with [the other woman]. It was for her.” Hardcastle’s sudden infamy is a far cry from her seemingly wholesome upbringing in Maryland. A source close to Hardcastle says the accused rapist’s mother is a born-again Christian studying for the seminary. But it didn’t take long for Hardcastle to find trouble. She became addicted to cocaine around the age of 14 and was shipped off to rehab, says the source. The couple attended the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah in January.Photo: Getty IMages She got her act together, enrolling at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. There, she was hired to model at Charleston fashion week. “It’s the biggest event in Charleston,” says the source. “She started seeing the limelight.” He adds that she got into “the heavy party scene,” using Ecstasy, cocaine and marijuana. “She was always the one who was too drunk. I witnessed her trying to make out with girls, and everyone thought it was for show. Apparently it wasn’t.” Hardcastle had equal love for men, though. Sometimes too much. The source tells The Post that Hardcastle — who last worked at Manhattan investment firm 40 North Management — was dating a Morgan Stanley banker when she seemingly set her sights on Taylor. The source says Hardcastle drugged the boyfriend, placing the sleep-aid medication Ambien in his drink to make him drowsy so she could rendezvous with Taylor. (The banker declined to speak with The Post. ) Hardcastle in court September 21st. The couple was extradited to Utah.Photo: Steven Hirsch But Taylor, a native of Canada, didn’t seem an obvious match for the party girl. “He came from a pension-consulting background, [and] those tend to be some of the most straight-laced people around . . . but he has a bit of a temper,” says the former colleague. Taylor leaving court on the 21st.Photo: Steven Hirsch Despite reports of a high-flying lifestyle, Taylor’s ex-colleague says, “He wasn’t making a million dollars. I don’t think he was even close to [earning what] the top half of people [were] paid in his position.” Hardcastle found a job in NYC by early 2015. Weeks later, the couple flew to Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival. They met the alleged victim, 23, at a bar on Jan. 25 and shared three rounds of shots, according to court documents. The woman agreed to go to a party with the couple, who first stopped at their hotel. There, they are accused of plying the victim with alcohol and Ecstasy and urging her to participate in a threesome. The victim, a Park City resident, texted two friends saying she might need a ride — then everything “went black,” according to documents. She awoke in bed with Hardcastle. Hours later, she went to the hospital with “scratches on her chest, suction marks on her neck, fresh bruises on her upper left arm, a bite mark on her left forearm and several scratches on her back and stomach,” according to prosecutors. “She complained of acute vaginal pain.” For six months, the victim corresponded with Hardcastle over Instagram in an attempt to piece together the night’s events. Hardcastle admitted to digitally penetrating her, performing oral sex on her and licking her breasts. She told the victim that Taylor had fondled her breasts and digitally penetrated her, too. When the victim inquired about her bruises and scratches, Hardcastle said: “You said you liked it rough and so I gave you what you wanted.” Last Wednesday, Hardcastle and Taylor, who were arrested on September 9, were extradited to Utah. Hardcastle’s attorney Dennis Ring tells The Post that, “Ms. Hardcastle has never committed a crime.” A spokesperson for First Avenue, the firm where Taylor worked, e-mailed The Post on Friday to state that, “First Avenue has terminated Mr. Taylor’s employment with immediate effect.” Taylor’s attorney had no comment when contacted by The Post. While it remains to be seen if the couple will stay together, the ex-colleague says Taylor and Hardcastle had planned to marry. “He was excited to move in with her this past spring,” says the ex-colleague. “He said, ‘This is the one.’” Share this:
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