Ghislaine Maxwell kept a 58-page list of rules that ordered staff at Jeffrey Epstein’s estates to “see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing” — and to always make sure the couple had a gun nearby at night.
The accused madam’s sex-trafficking trial got to see the “Maxwell Household Manual” on Thursday as former housekeeper Juan Alessi testified about the “very degrading” way staff were treated.
The 2005 manual — which was entered into evidence — showed the lengths Maxwell, the 59-year-old “lady of the house,” went to in ensuring that Epstein’s mansion in Palm Beach, Fla., was “like a five-star hotel.”
Staff needed to “anticipate the needs of Mr. Epstein, Ms. Maxwell and their guests,” stated the introduction of the manual, which made clear that disgraced media baron Robert Maxwell’s daughter was sharing the master bedroom with the perverted moneyman at the time.
“Remember that you see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing, except to answer a question directed at you,” it warned on the first page of orders.
The rules detailed a slew of instructions for each room, especially the master bedroom, which had to be kept at 60 degrees and have “JE and GM telephone directories” near the phone. A separate bedroom was not listed for Maxwell, though she had her own bathroom.
Additionally, staffers were ordered to keep a “gun placed in bedside table drawer.”
Other orders hinted at a sense of paranoia in 2005, which was before Epstein was convicted and jailed for sex offenses with underage girls.
“Unless otherwise instructed, NEVER disclose Mr. Epstein or Ms. Maxwell’s activities or whereabouts to anyone,” the rulebook warned. “Do not be bullied … simply be firm.”
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Staff also had to “advise Ms. Maxwell of any strange telephone calls or enquiries” — as well as of “any unusual behavior, such as strangers lurking around the vicinity of the property.”
Epstein’s cars were never allowed to have less than three-quarters of a tank of gas, and always had to have at least $100 inside.
Alessi — who said the couple called him “John” instead of “Juan” — told jurors at Maxwell’s trial in Manhattan that he “was supposed to be blind, deaf and dumb and say nothing of their lives.”
The rulebook, which was full of UK spellings, did not go quite as far as Alessi’s claim that he was ordered to never look Epstein in the eyes.
But it gave a detailed list of instructions on how staff should ensure that they had a “polite ‘aim to please’ approach,” with a ban on discussing their “personal problems” and a rule to “be cautious of noise levels and noise.”
“Unobtrusive is the key,” it stressed.
“Do not eat or drink in front of Mr. Epstein, Ms. Maxwell and their guests,” stressed the rules, which also forbade chewing gum and allowing cellphones to ring while dealing with the couple or their guests. The house phone “should be answered in three rings or less,” the book warned.
“You do not expound on the weather or any other subject” when entering bedrooms, the guide warned.
Staff had a list of common words and phrases that were banned, including “yeah,” “sure,” “gotcha,” “you bet,” “I dunno” and even “no problem.”
They were instead told to say the likes of “with pleasure” and “You are quite right” — and if criticized, reply, “It was completely my fault; I will make the changes immediately.”
Staff had a strict uniform of blue pants and white golf shirts, replaced with long-sleeve white shirts “for dinner service.”
“Items in pockets must not create a bulge or be visible,” the rulebook dictated, while staff should also “avoid using strong perfume or aftershave lotion.”
The book included lengthy lists of groceries and high-end products the couple always expected to have at the ready, including 32 toiletries that Maxwell demanded for her personal bathroom, where toilet paper had to be folded in a “V.”
They expected 26 types of drink — including wine, champagne, beer and spirits — and Epstein’s morning coffee had to include “creamer filled with Half & Half, warmed in the microwave for 25 seconds.”
At meals, staff should “always serve from the left, and clear from the right.”
JE and GM telephone directories were left in numerous parts of the mansion, as were headed notepads and cards, with Maxwell’s including “Lady Ghislaine” notepads, the name her late dad gave the yacht off of which he died in 1991.
There was a list of 13 daily cleaning tasks, 23 weekly ones and others for monthly and even each April and October, including to “rotate seasonal clothing.”
Staff also had to take turns on “standby duty,” where “you should not travel more than one hour from your home base.
“This means that if you are called, the maximum time it will take you to return, is one hour,” the handbook said, warning, “You could be called upon at any time, day or night.”
Despite the strict rules, staffers were told, “SMILE!”
Maxwell, 59, has denied the allegations that she recruited and groomed young women to be sexually abused by Epstein. Her trial is expected to last up to six weeks.
Her lawyers say prosecutors are going after her because they can’t try Epstein, who killed himself in his Manhattan lockup in 2019 while awaiting his own trial on serious sex charges.