Inside Ghislaine Maxwell’s “house manual” for the management of Epstein’s estate
The former manager of Jeffrey Epstein’s house in Palm Beach, Florida said Thursday that a “house manual” issued to him and other employees by Ghislaine Maxwell was “degrading” to him.
On the fourth day of Maxwell’s criminal trial, Juan Alessi, 72, said he started working as a maintenance contractor for Epstein in 1990 and started working as a house manager for the estate of ‘Epstein in Palm Beach in 1991. He met Maxwell, he said, that same year, and it became immediately clear that Maxwell has “many, many, many rules” for those involved in management. of Epstein’s business.
Asked by assistant to the US attorney Maurene Comey if the rules had already been written, Alessi said that “yes, at the end of my stay, I receive from Mrs. Maxwell this booklet”, containing standards for the maintenance of the Epstein’s house, “an incredible amount of work,” he said, “enough work for ten people.”
According to a 2005 edition of the “House Handbook” submitted to the court as evidence – which Alessi said looked like an updated version of one originally presented to him by Maxwell – Epstein’s staff had to take care of a painstakingly detailed list of tasks and checklists.
Among them were extensive preparations for the arrival of Epstein, Maxwell, or one of their guests at the estate and what Alessi called “degrading” rules and regulations describing the language, appearance and manner. general staff behavior.
The “pre-arrival preparations checklist” for the “master bedroom”, for example, in which Alessi said Epstein and Maxwell usually slept together, includes “the JE and GM phone books placed to the right of the phone.” and “the gun placed in the drawer nightstand.”
Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend and longtime business partner, faces a six-count indictment for allegedly conspiring and aiding Epstein in his sexual abuse of underage girls between 1994 and 2004. She has been held without bond since her arrest in July 2020 and has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has claimed her innocence.
According to the manual, staff were prohibited from eating, drinking and chewing gum in front of Epstein, Maxwell, and their guests, and they were instructed to “avoid using strong perfume or lotion after- shaving because “it might cause an allergic reaction”. given a list of “you don’t say” words, which included “Yeah”, “Of course”, “No problem”, “You bet”, “You know” , “Ok” and “I don’t know.” And they were ordered that “objects in pockets should not bulge or be visible” and advised to “not address Mr. . Epstein, Mrs. Maxwell and their guests with their hands in your pocket ”.
Under “Guest Pickup and Drop-off”, the manual explains how to get guests from the airport to the estate.
“Keep the conversation to a minimum,” the manual says. “When driving Mr. Epstein or Mrs. Maxwell, keep your hands on the wheel. Your mobile phones must be placed on “vibrate”. At no time should you answer private calls. “
Under “Grooming and Guest Relations”, Epstein staff are informed that “[being] low-key is the key. “
“Remember you can’t see anything, hear nothing, say nothing except to answer a question put to you,” the manual reads. “Respect their privacy. … Do not discuss personal matters with guests.”
Under “Answer the phone”, the manual clearly states that this safety is of paramount importance.
“Unless instructed otherwise, NEVER disclose the activities or whereabouts of Mr. Epstein or Ms. Maxwell to anyone,” the manual states. “The safety of the home and of Mr. Epstein, Mrs. Maxwell and their guests is your first consideration and should be the top priority of your conscience.”
During Friday’s cross-examination, an attorney for Maxwell suggested in his interview with Alessi that someone other than Maxwell had in fact prepared the “House Handbook”.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Pagliuca said, “Epstein hired a countess and she wrote the manual,” then said to Alessi, “You know they hired a countess to create the book? Alessi replied: “I don’t know, sir.”
Pagliuca then asked Alessi if he was okay with the book and if he had followed his instructions, and Alessi said no.
“I did my chores. I did my job. I don’t think I ever did the “checks” in the manual.