Jeffrey Epstein ordered all photos of Ghislaine Maxwell removed from his Palm Beach mansion when he entertained female guests, a New York federal court was told.
Cross examination of Juan Alessi, who worked full-time as a housekeeper at Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion from 1991 to 2002, continued in Ms Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial on Friday.
Defence attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca asked Mr Alessi about an order given by Epstein to remove all photos of Ms Maxwell before he hosted other female guests.
“You never told Ms Maxwell about removing the other pictures?” asked Mr Pagliuca. “It was a secret between you and Mr Epstein.”
“It was not a secret, it was a mandate,” Mr Alessi replied, becoming increasingly agitated.
“(Epstein) never shared any of his personal life with me … he never suggested, implied anything.”
He was then asked why he thought he was told to take the pictures down.
“I have no idea.”
Mr Alessi said he would have been told to take down the pictures about three or four times.
Ms Maxwell faces six charges: one each of enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in illegal sex acts, sex trafficking of a minor, and three counts of conspiracy related to the other counts.
She has denied all the charges.
During a combative back-and-forth, Mr Pagliuca asked the house manager if he had ever phoned spas in Palm Beach to book massage therapists for Epstein, who was receiving three massages a day.
Mr Alessi denied calling spas, and said he only booked women when directed to by Epstein or Ms Maxwell.
He would organise their payment which was always exactly $100. The women would either be paid out of petty cash or by cheque from Epstein’s New York office.
Mr Pagliuca went on to ask Mr Alessi if anyone ever alerted him to abuse at the property.
“I wish they did because I would have done something to stop it,” he said.
Mr Alessi testified on Thursday that he drove a witness known as Jane to the Epstein estate in around 1994 when she was 14 years old.
On Friday, Mr Pagliuca tried to point out alleged inconsistencies between Mr Alessi’s testimony in court and previous sworn statements in civil cases involving Epstein.
Citing a deposition taken in 2016, Mr Pagliuca pointed out Mr Alessi had stated he had first met Jane in much later than 1994.
Mr Alessi said he had confused Jane with another young girl who had visited the property.
Mr Pagliuca went on to ask about Ms Maxwell’s fondness for photography.
“She was a good photographer and she had a fantastic set up of cameras and lenses,” he said, adding her photography was on display around the house.
“She took pictures of everything.”
There were also photos of Epstein and Maxwell with Pope John Paul II, Fidel Castro and Bill Clinton on display around the property, he said.
During the morning session, Judge Alison Nathan reminded counsel they were not to use the real name of the witness known as Jane.
Shortly afterward, Mr Pagliuca said Jane’s real name and realising he had made a mistake, apologised.
Judge Nathan ordered that the reference be struck from the court record and admonished Mr Pagliuca.
“You must carefully abide by my ruling,” she said, before calling both sets of lawyers into a sidebar.
Late on Friday, Epstein’s infamous massage table was introduced into evidence.
The green table, confiscated by law enforcement from Epstein’s mansion in 2005, was brought into the courtroom and shown to the jury.
The jury were earlier shown a police video of a raid on the Palm Beach property on 20 October 2005.
The video was not shown to public or the media, but previous coverage detailed how it showed pictures of young women in lingerie, and appeared to show a photo of Epstein standing at the White House podium.
The trial has previously heard Epstein and Ms Maxwell were a couple for a period in the 1990s. After their relationship ended, they became the “best of friends” and Ms Maxwell ran Epstein’s properties like “5-star hotels”.
Mr Alessi described Ms Maxwell as “the lady of the house” at the Palm Beach property in El Brillo Way, and said she maintained strict control over staff.
A 58-page house manual entered in evidence contained strict rules that the housekeeping staff had to follow.