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Ghislaine Maxwell's degrading list of rules for staff revealed

Chris Ison/PA via AP, File

When the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell started, I’m pretty sure we all suspected that we would be hearing some seriously unsavory things coming out of it. But the most recent testimony this week spoke more to the decadent, abusive conditions that Jeffrey Epstein and his child procurement specialist created in their lavish estates than any specific acts of sexual assault on minors. The court was treated to a review of the “Maxwell Household Manual” this week, a nearly 60-page book of rules for the housekeeping staff intended to ensure the couple’s secrecy from prying eyes and create the conditions one would expect to find in a world-class hotel cared for by slaves instead of employees. And rule number one was for all of the workers to always keep their eyes and ears and mouths closed when it came to Epstein and Maxwell’s private affairs. (NY Post)

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 on ensuring Epstein’s mansion in Palm Beach, Fla., was “like a five-star hotel.”

The tone in the manual is set early on. Workers were warned, “Remember that you see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing, except to answer a question directed at you.” That’s another way of saying that you will only speak when spoken to.

There was a definite level of paranoia projected by the rules for the housekeeping staff. They were warned that they were never to say anything to anyone about “Mr. Epstein or Ms. Maxwell’s activities or whereabouts.” The staff was also instructed to immediately notify Maxwell about any “strange” phone calls or unknown people “lurking about” near the property.

No one was allowed to eat or drink anything in front of the couple or their “guests.” Chewing gum was also verboten.

All of this really does paint a picture of the worst stereotypes of the incredibly wealthy. Treating the housekeeping staff like slaves from the antebellum south is perhaps not all that surprising when you consider the rest of the “activities” they were allegedly up to. But the most suggestive part of the housekeeping rules was all of the secrecy. The staff was to never speak to anyone else about what went on in the house. Yes, I suppose you could argue that they just wanted their privacy to be respected, but in the context of everything else we’ve learned, it sounds more like paranoia. The type of people who want their lives cloaked in that much secrecy generally tend to be people who know they are doing something wrong and fear they will be found out.

I will admit, however, that I’ve found myself wondering about at least one of the claims that Maxwell’s attorneys have made this week about how she is supposedly being set up as a scapegoat in place of Jeffrey Epstein after his unfortunate “suicide.” If the accounts of the accusers are true, it certainly sounds like Ghislaine Maxwell was an active participant in the grooming and even sexual abuse of underage girls. But if Epstein himself were still alive to stand trial on these charges, would the authorities even have bothered going after Maxwell? I don’t buy the idea that she was “a victim” as she claims, but she also sounds like more of a flunky and minor player than the chief pervert himself.