A friend of Jeffrey Epstein and suspected sex trafficker has been found dead in prison

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  • Jean-Luc Brunel, the former head of French modelling agency MC2 Model Management, was accused of rape and suspected sex trafficking 

    Just a week after Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre reached a settlement deal following her accusations of sexual abuse (which Prince Andrew has always denied), another friend of the late financier Jeffery Epstein has been found dead in prison. 

    Jean-Luc Brunel, 76, was head of French modelling agency MC2 Model Management. He’d been arrested in December 2020 following allegations of raping and sexually harassing a minor. He was put under a second investigation for raping another minor last June. 

    The Paris-born agency leader was also being questioned on the suspicion of sex trafficking. In 2015, Virginia Giuffre said Epstein had boasted to her about sleeping with more than a thousand “of Brunel’s girls”.  

     

    While Brunel was held at La Santé prison in Paris, several top models spoke up and accused him of sexual assault and rape. Apparently, the French police interviewed hundreds of potential witnesses. 

    Brunel had denied all of these claims, saying he’d never had any involvement in illegal activities. When Epstein died in August 2019, also from hanging himself while held in prison, Brunel had disappeared from public life. 

    Melania Trump, Prince Andrew, Gwendolyn Beck and Jeffrey Epstein at a party at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000. (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)

    Brunel was introduced to Epstein in the 1980s through Ghislaine Maxwell, who is currently in prison in the US after being convicted of sex trafficking. Her lawyers have filed an appeal.

    In the 1990s, Brunel worked as a model talent scout and led prestigious agency Karin Models. Then in 1999, he was banned from the agency after a BBC undercover report investigated abuse in the fashion industry. Brunel then moved to the US and founded MC2 Model Management — with funding from Epstein. 

    Brunel’s legal team defended him in a statement following his death: “His distress was that of a man of 75 years old caught up in a media-legal system that we should be questioning. Jean-Luc Brunel never stopped claiming his innocence and had made many efforts to prove it. His decision [to end his life] was not driven by guilt but by a deep sense of injustice.”

    Following the news of Brunel’s death, Virginia Giuffre has said she is “disappointed”. In a Twitter post, the 38 year old said: “The suicide of Jean-Luc Brunel, who abused me and countless girls and young women, ends another chapter. I’m disappointed I wasn’t able to face him in a trial to hold him accountable, but gratified that I was able to testify in person last year to keep him in prison.”

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