Jeffrey Epstein’s former housekeeper revealed the ‘imperious’ nature of Ghislaine Maxwell while he was employed under the couple.
Juan Alessi, 72, took the stand Thursday during the fourth day of Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial and revealed how she wanted the house run like a ‘five-star hotel,’ which included washing Epstein’s car, stuffing it with $100 bills and avoiding eye contact with him, as Maxwell claimed he detested it.
Staff were handed a 58-page ‘Household Manual’ – dated February 14, 2005 – filled with demands: ‘Try and anticipate the needs of Mr. Epstein, Ms. Maxwell and their guests;’ ‘Do not discuss personal problems with guests;’ ‘Unobtrusive is the key;’ ‘SMILE!’ and ‘NEVER disclose Mr. Epstein or Ms. Maxwell’s activities or whereabouts to anyone.’
One bullet on the checklist read: ‘See nothing. Say nothing.’
When asked by prosecutor Maurene Comey what he understood that meant, Alessi replied: ‘I was supposed to be blind, deaf, to say nothing.’
In the master bedroom, staff were to ensure a gun was placed in a bedside table drawer, shutters were closed, and that reading glasses, eye masks and ‘Jeffrey Epstein large and small notepads’ were on both bedside tables.
Maxwell demanded the staff use ‘proper language’ with a list of things ‘you don’t say’: ‘Yeah,’ ‘Sure,’ ‘No problem,’ ‘You bet,’ ‘Gotcha,’ ‘Right’ and ‘I dunno.’
When complimented, according to the manual, they should respond: ‘You are very kind’ and ‘Thank, you, Ms. ____. I enjoy doing it.’
Alessi’s other duties were to make breakfast at 5 a.m. and bathe Maxwell’s dog – a Yorkshire Terrier called Max.
He told the court he was expected to be up at the crack of dawn to make the food rather than Epstein’s professional cooks, ‘because the chefs have the privilege to sleep in.’
Epstein’s former housekeeper Juan Alessi, 72, is seen leaving the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in Manhattan on December 2
Alessi had worked for Epstein and Maxwell at their Palm Beach mansion between 1990 and 2002
Alessi recounted his experiences working under Maxwell who he claimed to be ‘imperious’ and handed staff a 58-page manual on how to cater to her and Epstein
One of the rules of the home was ‘see nothing, hear nothing say nothing’ as Maxwell did not want them intermixing in their business as well their guests’
Alessi also said that part of his job was to clean up after Epstein’s massages – which he said Maxwell scheduled three times per day and which usually took place in his bathroom.
Asked by the prosecutor if he ever found anything ‘unexpected’ after the massages, Alessi said that he found a ‘large dildo,’ describing it as ‘a huge man’s penis with two heads.’
Alessi did not clarify whether it was the sex toy called a ‘Twin Torpedo’ referred to by prosecutors in pretrial filings.
Alessi said that he put gloves on and ‘ran it under the water and put the dildo in Ms. Maxwell’s closet in (her) bathroom’ inside of a wicker basket.
Alessi said that he saw ‘pornographic tapes and a black leather costume’ in the same basket.
He said that three or four other times he found two other sex toys: one that looked ‘like a pillow’ and another that looked like an ‘arm’ which had a rubber vibrating part at the end.
He put those items in Epstein’s dresser, Alessi said.
Pages from the meticulous manual detailing the checklist for Epstein’s bedroom
Alessi said that he first met Maxwell in 1991 and after that his relationship with Epstein became less ‘cordial’ and more ‘professional’.
Alessi said: ‘From the day she came to the house she right away took over. She mentioned to me she was going to be the lady of the house. She also told me she was in charge of (Epstein’s) other properties’
According to Alessi, Maxwell was with Epstein on his visits to the property ’95 percent of the time.’
In an interview with Palm Beach police in 2005, Alessi admitted he would wash off vibrators and a long rubber penis after a young girl visited Epstein for a massage.
The bed would have to be made up after each massage as well, strongly suggesting some kind of sexual activity.
Alessi said that he remembered two girls during his employment with Epstein who appeared to be underage.
He was shown a photo of the first accuser in the trial, known as Jane, and confirmed it was her.
The second was Virginia Roberts, the woman who claims that Epstein loaned her out to Prince Andrew for sex when she was 17, allegations he denies.
Alessi took the stand Thursday in Day Four of Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial
Alessi also said that he found sex toys when he cleaned up for Epstein after his massages
Questioned by Prosecutor Maurene Comey, Alessi said that he worked as a maintenance worker and house manager for Epstein at his Palm Beach mansion between 1990 and December 2002. Pictured is Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion submitted by the prosecution as evidence
Alessi said that Jane was ‘introduced to me by Ms. Maxwell’ at the Palm Beach house and he estimated she was around 14 or 15 at the time.
Alessi said that on Jane’s visits to Epstein’s house he would pick her up and that he recalled Maxwell ‘instructed’ him to chauffeur her.
Asked by prosecutor Maurene Comey why she didn’t drive herself, Alessi said she didn’t have a license.
When she arrived at the residence she would go to Maxwell’s desk: Alessi said it was ‘not my job to ask where they were going’.
Alessi said he recalled driving Maxwell, Epstein and Jane to Epstein’s plane and seeing them board together.
This courtroom sketch shows Ghislaine Maxwell entering court followed by two US Marshalls, for Day 4 of her trial
Alessi said that he saw ‘pornographic tapes and a black leather costume’ in a basket in Maxwell’s bathroom
Alessi said that he recalled meeting Roberts on a trip to Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club with Maxwell.
That day they had visited all the luxury spas in the area when Maxwell suddenly told Alessi, who was driving: ‘Stop!’
Alessi said: ‘I stopped the car and she opened the door and went towards this girl who was coming down the ramp. She looked young. She had blonde hair and was wearing a white uniform like a nurse’ – Roberts has said she was working in the locker room at Mar-a-Lago at the time.
The next time Alessi saw Roberts was later that day at the Palm Beach residence, he said.
The jury were shown two photos of Roberts, one of which shows her with blonde hair and smiling – she looks to be aged around 16.
Alessi said that after that he saw Roberts ‘very often’ at Epstein’s house and estimated she was ‘probably 14 or 15’ years old.
Sometimes Roberts came with her boyfriend but Maxwell told him to wait in the car.
Alessi said that ‘right at the end’ of his time with Epstein he saw Roberts with ‘two other girls’ and observed them going to Maxwell’s desk.
Alessi said he recalled driving Maxwell, Epstein and Roberts to Epstein’s plane and seeing them board together, just like with Jane.
Asked about Epstein’s massages, Alessi said: ‘At the beginning he received around one (a day). At the end (of my employment) he received three massages a day.
Maxwell would schedule the massages, as would Epstein and sometimes Epstein’s office in New York, Alessi said.
Alessi said: ‘It was at all times. Massages in the morning, massages in the afternoon, some massages after dinner, after the movies. They were 10, 11 o’clock at night.
Prosecutors presented Alessi with a copy of Epstein’s black book that he used to keep contacts for his famous friends and Alessi confirmed it looked like a later version of the one he used.
He said that there was a ‘page with massage therapists’ and that the contact information for the accuser known as Jane was among them.
Turning to the black book, which he held in his hand after being given a copy by the prosecution, Alessi said that Maxwell and Epstein were the ones who used it.
Copies had to be kept in the kitchen desk, Maxwell’s desk, Epstein’s three desks and in the tables next to Epstein and Maxwell’s beds.
Alessi spoke out in a podcast interview with Epstein survivor Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew
One of Maxwell’s accusers known as ‘Jane’ broke down in court as she was quizzed about the ‘orgies’ and ‘sexualized massages’ she claims she was forced into while under age by Maxwell
Asked if he saw women by the pool at the Palm Beach home, he replied ‘hundreds of times,’ adding that the women were topless 75%-80% of the time.
Alessi said Thursday that Maxwell gave him ‘many, many instructions’ about how to run the house about every aspect of the property.
Prosecutor Comey asked Alessi about his understanding of the relationship between Maxwell and Epstein.
He replied that Maxwell was the ‘girlfriend’ of Epstein.
Comey asked if Maxwell ever gave him instructions on how to speak to Epstein.
He said she told him that ‘I was only supposed to speak to Mr. Epstein when he asked a question’.
Comey asked if there were instructions from Maxwell about eye contact with Epstein.
Alessi said: ‘She said Jeffrey doesn’t like to be looked at in the eyes. You should never look at his eyes. Look at another part of the room and answer him’.
Last year Alessi appeared as a guest for a podcast interview with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the Epstein survivor who claims she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew, allegations he denies.
Alessi revealed that the Duke of York visited Epstein’s mansion in Palm Beach, Florida two or three times while he was there.
Andrew was memorable because he was so polite – and was the only one of Epstein’s guests to leave him a tip,’ he claimed.
A picture of Epstein’s Little St. James Island home was released
Epstein’s private helicopter, pictured, was part of images released at the trial
Images released at the trial show various properties owned by Epstein, including a private aircraft, pictured
Ghislaine Maxwell’s sister Isabel and brother Kevin are seeing outside of the courthouse where their sister’s trial is being held
Kevin Maxwell, Ghislaine’s brother, is seen leaving the courthouse after the fourth day of the trial
The interview with Alessi happened at his home in Florida last year when Giuffre turned up unannounced at his door.
They last saw each other in 2002 when Giuffre left for Thailand to train as a masseuse and never returned to Epstein, who had asked her to carry a baby for him and Maxwell before she left.
Their conversation turned to Maxwell and as former Epstein employees they used to bond over stories of mistreatment by their boss – Maxwell.
In the podcast Alessi said: ‘That relationship between Epstein and her I never understood.’
Giuffre said: ‘Me neither, I asked Maxwell, so…’
Alessi cut in and said ‘I told her many times. I said: ”Ghislaine, why are you doing this? Why are you staying with this guy?” (She said) ”I hate him, I hate him but I can’t leave”. I said: ”Why? You have money, why are you not leaving?”’
Giuffre says: ‘That relationship was confusing’.
He said that Epstein ‘liked massages from the day I met him’ and talks of a regime of secrecy inside the house.
He said: ‘I was not supposed to talk to the guests, I was not supposed to talk to Virginia. Nothing, no talking. I was not allowed to interrupt conversations’.
The six charges against Maxwell:
Conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts (5 years max sentence)
Enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts (20 years)
Conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity (20 years)
Transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity (10 years minimum, life maximum)
Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
Sex Trafficking of a Minor
Ghislaine Maxwell also faces two charges of perjury but those counts are due to be tried after her sex crimes trial.
The charges relate to testimony she gave in 2016 in a defamation case filed against her by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre.
Prosecutors say Maxwell groomed three girls between 1994 and 1997 for Epstein.
They are not named in the indictment, but she allegedly targeted them in London, Florida, New York and New Mexico.
Maxwell, it is alleged, would befriend the girls by asking them about their life and their schooling. She would put them at ease by taking them to the movies and taking them shopping, winning their trust to later deliver them to Epstein, it’s alleged.
To ‘normalize’ the abuse that would come later, prosecutors say she undressed in front of the girls herself and asked them sexual questions.
She then not only facilitated Epstein abusing them, prosecutors say, but took part in some of it herself.
The alleged sex abuse includes ‘sexualized group massages’.
The indictment also says Maxwell made the girl feel ‘indebted’ to Epstein by encouraging them to take money from him and let him pay for their education and travel.
Alessi claimed that he saw the lawyer Alan Dershowitz at Epstein’s house ‘many times’ but never with underage girls – Dershowitz denies any wrongdoing.
Alessi said: ‘Prince Andrew was at the house two or three times when I was there.
‘He was always polite and a very nice guy. He was the only guy who left us a tip’.
In the episode Alessi said it is ‘sickening’ to think about Giuffre being abused and claims he never saw anything suspicious.
But as Broken host Tara Palmeri points out, Alessi’s story is highly problematic because he has changed his story so often.
Even in the podcast Alessi said that Epstein would ‘come to me and say call this girl, it was hundreds of girls that I have a list, call Joanne, call Judy, call Nicole, so many girls’.
Alessi’s testimony came after Dr. Lisa Rocchio, a clinical and forensic psychologist, took the stand as the prosecution’s expert witness.
Dr. Rocchio testified that giving massages and gifts could be key parts of the grooming process and said such ‘manipulative tactics’ were part of the five stages of grooming a child victim for abuse.
Maxwell’s first accuser ‘Jane’ testified this week that Epstein paid for her schooling and apartment, promising to ‘give her the world’, before he sexually abused her.
Dr. Lisa Rocchio, a clinical and forensic psychologist, took the stand as the prosecution’s expert witness Thurday
Dr. Rocchio said she had been specializing in the field of traumatic stress and interpersonal violence for 30 years and was an assistant professor at Brown University as well as running her own practice.
She defined grooming as: ‘A series of deceptive tactics, strategies or MO that are used by perpetrators for the purpose of engaging a child in sexual abuse’.
The first stage was identifying a victim and predators looked for ‘vulnerable’ people such as those from disadvantaged homes, Rocchio said.
Stage two was ‘obtaining access’ to the victims and putting themselves in situations where their access to children ‘is not likely to be questioned.’
Prosecutors have claimed that Epstein and Maxwell first met Jane, the first accuser, at a children’s arts camp in Michigan where he donated $200,000 to have a lodge named after him.
Stage three was about ‘engaging in lies and deception’ to build a relationship with the victims including giving gifts such as ‘fancy clothes and jewelry’.
Such presents are intended to make the victim feel ‘special’, Rocchio said.
Prosecutors claim that Maxwell bought one of her accusers lingerie and a pair of boots for another.
The final two stages are a process of desensitization to physical and sexual touch, Dr. Rocchio said.
This can involve things like giving hugs, touching and ‘giving a massage.’
In her evidence, Maxwell’s first accuser, Jane, claimed Maxwell instructed her how to give Epstein a massage that would please him and that the abuse often happened in the massage room.
The final stage was a process of coercion to ensure the abuse continued and the victim did not tell anyone.
Dr. Rocchio said that it was ‘very common’ for victims to delay disclosing the abuse, especially if they were young and they were more likely to disclose it to a friend than law enforcement.
Earlier the court heard from Paul Kane, the director of finance at Professional Children’s School, a performing arts school in Manhattan which Jane attended.
He was asked to read the name of the person who had ‘financial responsibility’ for Jane on her application to join the school in 12th grade, or 17 years old.
He said: ‘Mr. Jeffrey Epstein.’