The former housekeeper of Jeffrey Epstein testified on the fourth day of his former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial that his staff had to follow a number of “degrading” rules enforced by the British socialite.
Juan Alessi worked for the disgraced financier and convicted sex offender at his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida between 1990 and 2002. Epstein died by suicide in a Manhattan jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on further sex crimes charges.
Mr Alessi told the court about a booklet measuring 58 pages on how the staff was supposed to behave at the mansion. The booklet was released as part of the evidence in the trial of Ms Maxwell and includes commands such as “unobtrusive is the key”, “SMILE!”, “NEVER disclose Mr Epstein or Ms Maxwell’s activities or whereabouts to anyone”, as well as an order to “see nothing” and “say nothing”.
Mr Alessi said Ms Maxwell told staff to never look Epstein in the eye and to look away as they answered his questions. Staff were reportedly not permitted to either eat or drink in front of Epstein or to wear “strong perfume” or “aftershave lotion”.
He said he had picked up a young girl from school, bringing her to Epstein in 1994. He added that Ms Maxwell told him to frequently drive her to Epstein’s home. Mr Alessi said the girl was “14 or 15” and “strikingly beautiful”. She was later named as “Jane” – a pseudonym for a woman who has accused Epstein of sexual abuse lasting for years.
Jane testified earlier that Ms Maxwell was sometimes in the room during the alleged abuse. Mr Alessi said he recalled driving Jane to a private plane, seeing her board the aircraft with Epstein and Ms Maxwell, adding that he had seen her name and contact information on a list of Palm Beach massage therapists. Jane testified earlier this week that she met Mr Alessi, who is from Ecuador, describing him as a “sweet Latin-American man”.
Following each “massage”, Mr Alessi would make the bed. He said the so-called massages were scheduled by Ms Maxwell and near the end of Mr Alessi’s tenure at Epstein’s mansion, they would take place three times a day.
“It was at all times. Massages in the morning, massages in the afternoon, some massages after dinner, after the movies. They were [at] 10, 11 o’clock at night,” the 71-year-old testified.
Mr Alessi also said that he regularly saw Virginia Roberts at Epstein’s estate. Ms Roberts has accused Epstein and Prince Andrew of abuse when she was a minor. Prince Andrew has denied any wrongdoing.
The housekeeper said Ms Roberts would at times arrive at Epstein’s home alongside her boyfriend, but that Ms Maxwell told him to wait in the car. Like in the case of Jane, Mr Alessi said he had driven Ms Roberts to a plane, which she boarded alongside Epstein and Ms Maxwell.
Ms Maxwell has pleaded not guilty, but could, if convicted, be sentenced to 80 years in prison.