The little black book of Jeffrey Epstein, and his butler Juan Alessi testifies to it.
On day four of Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial, Government Exhibit 52 made its much anticipated debut. This is Jeffrey Epstein’s “little black book” – the phone book containing the names and numbers of a huge list of rich and powerful friends of Epstein and also, presumably, some of the people who made it up. have charged with crimes.
The book was presented while prosecution witness Juan Alessi was in the stand. Alessi was a butler / driver / gofer at Epstein’s house in Palm Beach, Florida from around 1991 to 2002. He described the decadent atmosphere around the mansion, which he said was run “like a five star hotel”. He was supposed to keep wads of hundred dollar bills in each of Epstein’s cars at all times. He said there were a lot of women hanging out around Epstein’s pool and they were topless “75 to 80 percent of the time.” He said Maxwell, whom he called the ‘lady of the house’, had taken many photos of these topless women and displayed them in frames on his desk. He also said it was evident that Maxwell was in charge of running the household. And she slept in Epstein’s room, with Epstein.
Earlier this week, “Jane” – the pseudonymous accuser who alleges that Epstein and Maxwell sexually assaulted her for years from the age of 14 – spoke of a “sweet, Latin American man “who had led her between her house and Epstein’s. Today it became clear that it was Alessi. He said he drove Jane home with her mother and alone. He said he drove Jane to the movies with Epstein and Maxwell. And he said he drove Jane, with her luggage, onto the Palm Beach airport tarmac, where he saw her board Epstein’s private plane with Epstein and Maxwell (and, he was careful to note, Maxwell’s dog – a little Yorkie named Max).
Alessi described the many people who came to the house to massage Epstein, saying 98% of them were women. After some of these massages, when he came to clean up, Alessi found “a big dildo, like a man’s penis, with two heads” near the massage table. He would wash it and put it in a basket in Maxwell’s bathroom (there was his and his in the master bedroom) because he knew that was where he was kept.
Many of these details were vital to the prosecution case. But for the story beyond the story – the curiosity around Jeffrey Epstein, how he got his wealth, what he knew about his famous friends – the little black book was the real object of interest. A prosecutor took it out of his own accordion file, handed it to the defense team and the judge for inspection, and then brought it to Alessi on the witness stand. He identified it as the type of address book that would be at Epstein’s, and he said he recognized a lot of entries.
Ahead of the trial, NPR reported that prosecutors said the information in the book would “help establish who and what Maxwell knew – including” an inference that the accused knew that at least some of these people were minors ”. “But we didn’t get any juicy details from the little black book today. No names in bold. We may never do. The prosecution seems to want to file a heavily redacted version in evidence. There were long parallel arguments about what could be accepted and why. As the lawyers chewed on each other, Alessi, still at the stand, merely flipped through the pages of the book casually, browsing them with interest.
Towards the end of the day, Alessi opened up about the end of his job at Epstein. It seemed like he was fed up – and, reading between the lines, it was mainly Maxwell who bothered him. He hated the detailed and exhaustive checklist of chores she made him do around the house, and the way she ordered him to beg around her and Epstein. At one point, she told him to never make eye contact with Epstein and to “look at another part of the room” when Epstein spoke to her.
A few years after Alessi quit his job because he was “very, very tired”, his marriage fell apart and he encountered financial difficulties. At that point, he “made the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life.” He snuck through an unlocked sliding door to Epstein’s house and stole $ 6,300 from Epstein’s desk. Epstein quickly called him and, after seeing Alessi on security footage, confronted him about the theft. Epstein decided not to press charges, and Alessi paid the full amount back. Alessi still seemed grateful, even today, for Epstein’s mercy.
He did not grant Maxwell such affection. He said the enormous “housekeeping manual” she gave him required enough work for many more people than the staff. And he found a lot of “degrading” stains.
The prosecution produced pages from this manual as evidence. We could see them on the closed-circuit screen. The manual instructed Alessi to heat up a half-and-half full cream for Epstein’s coffee in the microwave for precisely 25 seconds. He insisted that he replace the tissue boxes once they were one-third full. He said he was “NEVER” – in all capitals – to disclose “the whereabouts or activities” of Epstein or Maxwell to anyone who requested it.
I also noticed an entry ordering Alessi to place an eye mask on Maxwell’s nightstand each night. This struck me because one of Maxwell’s many complaints about her treatment in prison is that she is not allowed to wear an eye mask at night. She also complained that the guards point flashlights at her while she sleeps and observe her closely when she uses the restroom. Maybe she should prepare a cleaning manual for them?
Earlier in the trial:
Day one: Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial opens with her lawyer plunging straight into the mud
Day two: why is Ghislaine Maxwell’s defense so determined to talk about Jeffrey Epstein’s famous friends?
Day three: How Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers try to discredit her accusers