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Epstein employment was ‘slavery’, former housekeeper tells court

Epstein employment was ‘slavery’, former housekeeper tells court
Juan Patricio Alessi was cross-examined by Ghislaine Maxwell’s counsel on Friday.

The former housekeeper of Jeffrey Epstein has described his employment as “slavery” after a household manual on how he should carry out his duties was shown to a jury.

The manual, which told staff to “see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing”, had been written by a “Countess”, the Federal court in the Southern District of New York heard.

The 58-page document also ordered staff to tell guests they “enjoy doing” their job and “never” disclose Ghislaine Maxwell and Epstein’s activities or whereabouts to anyone.

Employees were also told items in pockets “must not create a bulge or be visible”, with Mr Alessi previously saying he was “supposed to be blind and dumb” and to “say nothing of their lives”.

Maxwell, 59, est accusé de s'en prendre aux jeunes filles vulnérables et de les attirer dans des salles de massage pour être molestées par Epstein entre 1994 et 2004.

In this courtroom sketch, Ghislaine Maxwell is seated at the defence table (Elizabeth Williams/AP)

Vendredi, a massage table seized from Epstein’s Palm Beach house was brought into court and shown to the jury.

Images of the property were also displayed in court, including “Twin Torpedo” sex toys recovered from a closet in one of the convicted sex offender’s bathrooms.

Epstein’s former housekeeper Juan Patricio Alessi was also cross-examined by Maxwell’s defence counsel Jeffrey Pagliuca on Friday.

Mr Pagliuca asked: “Yesterday you testified you met Jeanne dans 1994.

“Isn’t it true that you met Jane in 1998 à 2000?"

“No that’s not true.”

Mr Alessi was then asked about a time he had been deposed by lawyers representing the Duke of York’s accuser Virginia Roberts in which he was asked: “Do you remember what year Jane met Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell?"

The witnesses response in the deposition was: “I would say maybe 1999 to 2000.”

Speaking on Friday, Mr Alessi, 72, mentionné: “I made a mistake between two girls that I met.

“The first girl I met underage was Jane, I think it was 1994.

“The other girl I think it was 2002 or 2001.”

Ghislaine Maxwell (US Department of Justice/AP)

Addressing what he had to do when Epstein was at his Palm Beach residence, Mr Pagliuca asked: “When he was there, you had to be there 24 heures par jour, correct?"

"Oui, it was slavery.”

Asked if he would take instructions directly from Epstein, Mr Alessi said he would always get directions from Maxwell because “she was my immediate superior”.

“He had very little contact with me in the later years,” the witness added.

The full indictment against Maxwell lists six charges: conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts; enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts; conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity; transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity; sex trafficking conspiracy; and sex trafficking of a minor.

The defendant is further alleged to have lied under oath by hiding her participation in Epstein’s offences during a separate civil case.

Epstein was found dead in his cell at a federal jail in Manhattan in August 2019 while he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges.

The death was ruled a suicide.

Maxwell, who has been held in a US jail since her arrest in July last year, denies all charges.

Le procès continue.