Ghislaine Maxwell warned the director of Epstein’s house not to “look at his eyes”, according to the court

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The former manager of Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach home said Thursday that Ghislaine Maxwell had warned he should “never look” at his boss in the eye.

Juan Alessi, who worked at Epstein’s Florida residence from around 1990 to 2002, made the startling statement when testifying at Maxwell’s trial for child sex trafficking in federal court in Manhattan.

Epstein, a mega-rich financier who counted Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton among his associates, committed suicide in a New York prison in August 2019, pending trial. Maxwell, 59, daughter of the late British edition titan Robert Maxwell, was arrested in July 2020 in a major New Hampshire area.

The former British socialite is currently on trial on charges relating to her alleged involvement in Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage girls, some as young as 14. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutor Maurene Comey’s questioning of Alessi was intended to bolster the government’s position that Maxwell was deeply involved in all aspects of Epstein’s life. Prosecutors alleged Maxwell was Epstein’s “best friend and right-hand man” – and that they were “partners in crime”.

“Other than Mr. Epstein, who else, if any, has instructed you on your job responsibilities during your employment?” Comey asked.

“Ms. Maxwell,” said Alessi, 71.

Alessi said that when he first met Maxwell she was a “pretty girl, a tall brunette”.

“Ms Maxwell was Mr Epstein’s girlfriend, I understand she was the hostess,” Alessi said. “From the day she arrived home, she took over right away, and she told me that she was going to be the hostess. In addition, she was in charge of other houses, other properties.

Epstein – who had hired Alessi full-time after convincing him to leave his other clients – began to act differently towards him.

“It gradually changed from cordial to fairer, uh, professional,” he recalls. “Our conversations with him were less and less.

“What, if anything, did Mrs. Maxwell tell you about whether you could speak directly with Mr. Epstein?” Comey asked.

“I was only supposed to speak with Mr. Epstein when he asked me questions.

“At the end of my stay, there was a time when she said to me: ‘Jeffrey doesn’t like people looking at him [in] their eyes.’ “

Maxwell reportedly told him, “’You should never look at his eyes. You just have to look at another part of the room and answer it, ”Alessi said.

  • Information and support for anyone affected by issues of rape or sexual abuse is available from the following organizations. In the United States, Rainn offers assistance at 800-656-4673. In the UK, Rape Crisis offers assistance on 0808 802 9999. In Australia, assistance is available on 1800Respect (1800 737 732). Other international helplines are available at ibiblio.org/rcip/internl.html

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