Ghislaine Maxwell portrayed as “mistress of the house” by Jeffrey Epstein during her sex crimes trial

At her trial in New York for sex trafficking of minors, Ghislaine Maxwell, former companion and collaborator of the American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein – who died in prison, in 2019, before being tried -, was portrayed, Thursday, December 2, as the ” housewife “ of the financier, responsible for preserving the secrecy of his sexual crimes.

Juan Alessi, Epstein’s former butler at his Palm Beach (Florida) residence in the 1990s, testified in Manhattan federal court, which has been judging ultra-socialite Ghislaine Maxwell since Monday. The daughter of press mogul Robert Maxwell is believed to have been the «Discount» Epstein, to sexually exploit young underage girls between 1994 and 2004. If found guilty, the 59-year-old Franco-American-Briton faces life imprisonment.

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Juan Alessi, an Ecuadorian, told jurors how Maxwell had imposed a number « incalculable » very strict rules in the Palm Beach house, the most terrifying of which forbade meeting the gaze of Jeffrey Epstein. “Don’t look him in the eye, turn your head and answer him”, remembers hearing himself say Juan Alessi.

“You don’t see anything, hear nothing”

“Remember: you see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing, except to answer a question which is directly addressed to you”, lists a kind of internal rules of the house of Epstein of fifty-eight pages. “NEVER reveal to anyone what Mr. Epstein or Maxwell », still orders the settlement, according to Juan Alessi, who left his post at the end of the 1990s. The butler had to prepare for Epstein’s arrival at his Florida residence and in particular to ensure that a pistol was in the drawer from the financier’s nightstand.

Dressed in black, Mme Maxwell listened to the testimony in silence. She has been in pre-trial detention since the summer of 2020 and pleads not guilty to all six charges, including that of sex trafficking of young underage girls.

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Tuesday and Wednesday, a crucial witness in the trial, “Jane”, had sometimes explained in tears how the Epstein-Maxwell couple had approached her in 1994 and how the financier had sexually assaulted her on several occasions, at his home in Palm Beach, when she was only 14 years old. Juan Alessi indeed said that he remembered two young girls at the time of the events, including “Jane”, whom he had seen for the first time with his mother; he even said he picked her up from school.

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The World with AFP