Ghislaine Maxwell demanded no one look at her then-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein in the eye when she became the “lady of the house” in which he abused underage girls, his former housekeeper told a court.

The British socialite drafted in draconian rules when she took over the running of the billionaire paedophile’s Palm Beach home in Florida while it was overrun with “hundreds” of topless girls.

Epstein’s former housekeeper Juan Alessi today took to the stand in Maxwell’s sex grooming and abuse trial in New York to detail how his job changed when she arrived.

"From the day she came to the house, she right away took over and she mentioned to me she was going to be the lady of the house,” said Alessi, who managed the Florida property from 1991 to 2002.

The 71-year-old, who once visited Maxwell’s London home, said his relationship with Epstein was cordial until she arrived.

Jeffrey Epstein with his alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell (


Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

“Only I was supposed to speak to Mr Epstein when he asked me questions,” Alessi recalled as one of Maxwell’s missives.

“At the end of my stay, there was a time when she say, ‘Jeffrey doesn’t like to be looked at in his eyes. You should never look at his eyes - just look at another part of the room and answer him.”

Alessi went on to detail what became expected of him including ensuring “the cars had to be immaculate,” and filled with $100 bills while “the house had to be run like a five-star hotel.”

When he was asked by the prosecution if he ever saw "females" by the pool, Mr Alessi replied "hundreds of times.”

Juan Alessi said Maxwell told him not to look into Epstein's eyes (


Daily Mirror/Andy Stenning)
Maxwell slept in Epstein's bedroom, according to Mr Alessi (



Asked what percentage were they topless, he said “about 75 per cent to 80 per cent of the time.”

Pushed further about Maxwell’s time at the house, where Prince Andrew once stayed and which was knocked down earlier this year, the former housekeeper was asked where she slept when in the home.

“She would sleep in Mr Epstein's bedroom,” he replied.

Mr Alessi said Maxwell, 59, refused to call him by his real name, Juan, instead addressing him by its English adaptation.

“She called me John,” he said.

Mr Alessi said he worked long hours for the couple, clocking up to 14 hours per shift when he began working for the financier in 1991.

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The former house manager said Epstein usually left Palm Beach on a Monday or Tuesday and returned by Thursday or Friday.

“It was very hectic. A lot of work. A lot of work,” he told the jury.

Mr Alessi complained about the lengthy checklist of tasks Maxwell had him perform, which he said was made for ten men, not one and a half.

He called it "very degrading" to him.

The full indictment against her 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. These offences are to be heard at a later date in a separate trial.

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

If convicted she faces up to 70 years in prison.

Epstein committed suicide in August 2019 while in jail. He was arrested a month earlier and charged with child sex offences.

The trial continues.