The Rules at Epstein’s Mansion: ‘Be Blind’ and ‘Say Nothing’
(Bloomberg) -- Working at Jeffrey Epstein’s Florida mansion meant adhering to a long list of rules from his girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, including no eye contact with the boss and absolute secrecy, according to a house manager who said his job included arranging daily “massages” and cleaning their sex toys.
Juan Alessi, testifying Thursday at Maxwell’s sex-trafficking trial in New York, said he worked at the Palm Beach mansion for 12 years starting in 1990. A year later, he said, the British socialite moved in and began to take charge of almost every aspect of running the property, which is where the government claims the financier sexually assaulted teen girls during sexualized massages.
“From the day she came to his house, she right away took over and she mentioned to me she was going to be the lady of the house,” said Alessi, 71. “And she mentioned to me that she was in charge of the other properties.”
Maxwell ran Epstein’s household “like a five-star hotel” with clean linens and round-the-clock service and even ensuring Epstein’s fleet of vehicles “had $100 bills in every car,” Alessi said. She also wrote up a 58-page book of rules and duties for him, he said. It was an “incredible amount of work,” Alessi said, “enough for 10 people.”
For example, in one entry, Maxwell wrote, “Remember that you see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing, except to answer a question directed to you,” Alessi said. He said he interpreted that rule as “a kind of warning that I was supposed to be blind” and to “say nothing of their world.”
Maxwell instructed him to only speak to Epstein if he asked him a direct question, Alessi said. She told him, “Jeffrey doesn’t like to be looked in his eyes,” so he should “never look in his eyes,” Alessi said. “Look at another part of the room and never directly to him.”
Maxwell, who has pleaded not guilty, is accused of conspiring with Epstein in a sex-trafficking scheme involving at least four underage girls. Prosecutors say Maxwell enticed the girls to Epstein so he could sexually abuse them and that she participated in some of the abuse.
Alessi said he was never present in the room when a massage was being given to Epstein, the disgraced financier who died in custody while awaiting trial in 2019 on charges he sexually abused women and girls. Epstein always closed the doors to his bedroom and bathroom when he was getting messages there, Alessi said.
However, Alessi said he went into those rooms to “clean up” after the massage sessions. He’d pick up towels, sex toys, costumes and pornographic materials. Alessi also cleaned the sex toys and returned them and massage oils to Epstein’s and Maxwell’s dressing rooms, he said.
“I know everything that happened in that house,” Alessi said.
Epstein was getting three massages a day by the time Alessi left the job in 2002, up from just one a day in 1991, the former caretaker said.
“It was a massage in the morning, a massage in the afternoon and a massage after the movies,” Alessi said. “They were scheduled to come anytime, at 10 o’clock, 11 o’clock at night.”
Topless at Pool
Alessi said he saw young women hanging out with Epstein and Maxwell at the mansion pool “hundreds of times,” and that “75% to 80%” would be topless.
Inside the house, there were photographs of Maxwell and Epstein with famous people, including Donald Trump, but there also “were many photographs of females who were topless,” Alessi said. Those photos were kept at Maxwell’s desk and were all taken at the pool, he said. “I don’t remember seeing anyone else but Ms. Maxwell” taking photos, he said.
While Alessi said he saw “many, many females” at the mansion and that “most of them appeared to be in their late 20s,” he recalled two who were underage.
One was a teenager who he said he first met in the mid-1990s when she was at Epstein’s mansion with her mother. He recalled later being sent to pick the girl up from school to bring her to the mansion. “She appeared to be young, 14, 15,” Alessi said. “She was strikingly beautiful, beautiful eyes, long brunette hair. Very pleasant.”
Now in her 40s, the woman testified earlier this week under the pseudonym “Jane.” She is first of four alleged victims who allege Epstein and Maxwell sexually assaulted them.
Alessi said his job included setting up massage appointments and alerting Maxwell when they were arranged. He said Jane’s name was among those listed as massage therapists in a contact book kept at the house. That was in 1995 or 1996, he said. Around that time, Jane was about 15.
The other teen Alessi saw at the mansion was Virginia Giuffre, who met Maxwell while working at the spa at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, he said. She claims Epstein recruited her for sex with men including Prince Andrew, who has insisted he never sexually abused or assaulted her. Giuffre sued Andrew in August and was involved in litigation against Maxwell, who she claimed aided in the abuse.
Alessi described being around Maxwell, Epstein and the two teen-aged girls, including the time he drove all four to the Palm Beach airport for a flight they took together.
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