A former housekeeper testified in a New York court on Thursday that Ghislaine Maxwell drafted a domestic handbook for staff at Jeffrey Epstein's Florida residence, telling them to "see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing."
Juan Alessi read from a 58-page document titled "Household Manual" on the stand, which detailed the ground rules Maxwell established for staff at the financier's lavish 10-bedroom Palm Beach estate.
The 71-year-old former house manager, who worked for Epstein for more than ten years, said that he thought the piece of the handbook was "kind of a warning."
Alessi, who testified for the prosecution, claimed, "I was meant to be blind and dumb."
“There were many, many, many rules."
Alessi testified that he met the heiress in 1991 and assumed she was Epstein's girlfriend at the time.
On the fourth day of Maxwell's sex trafficking trial in Manhattan federal court, he claimed, "From the day she came to the house, she right away took over and she mentioned to me that she was going to be the lady of the house and also, she was in charge of other homes."
Alessi claimed he interacted with Maxwell regularly because she relayed all of Epstein's directions to him.
When dealing with visitors, personnel were told not to utilize lingo like "yeah," "you bet," "gotcha," and "I dunno."
Alessi's evidence painted a vivid picture of how close the pair, who had been dating briefly in the mid-1990s, was throughout the alleged assault.
According to Alessi, Maxwell dubbed the "woman of the house," was with Epstein "95 percent" of the time when he stayed.
Epstein, he claimed, would spend most weekends and holidays in Florida, departing on Monday or Tuesday and returning on Thursday or Friday.
Employees were told not to tell anybody about Epstein or Maxwell's movements. The handbook sets out exactly how Epstein and Maxwell, 59, wanted the house to function, from her breakfast requirements - Weetabix with banana slices, sugar and milk, and Maxwell House instant coffee - to the temperature,
Her toothpaste had to be replaced after half of the tube had been used, and her tissues had to be replaced after more than two-thirds of the tube had been used. Kiehl's Cucumber Toner and cleansing moisturizer were also required.
According to the handbook, a gun should always be kept in the bedside table drawer in the master bedroom.
Alessi remarked, "They operate the place like a five-star hotel." He also stated that the responsibilities of his job required him to work from 5 a.m. until 9 or 10 p.m. on most days.
He finally left in 2002, claiming tremendous stress and bad health as reasons for his departure.
The defense team for Maxwell wanted the handbook to be excluded from the trial. They argued the paper "reflects a lifestyle that many jurors may find repugnant" in a court filing a few weeks ago.
Each potential juror was questioned if they had any bias towards affluent people who lived "luxurious lifestyles" during jury selection. No one said yes.
He also served as a chauffeur, picking up guests at the airport and at their residences, including a teenage girl he suspected of being underage. Under the pseudonym Jane, the youngster, who is now an adult, testified at the trial earlier this week. She said that Maxwell began grooming her for intercourse with Epstein when she was 14 years old.
Maxwell's dog, a Yorkie named Max, accompanied her everywhere, he recalled. He said that every time he flew with Maxwell on Epstein's private plane, he had to bathe the dog.
Jane testified two days earlier that the first time she saw Epstein and Maxwell, she was accompanied by a Yorkshire terrier.
she preferred in her bathtub - 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).