Jean-Luc Brunel, a former French modeling agent and associate of the late financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was found dead in his Paris prison cell early Saturday morning. He was 75 years old.
Brunel had been incarcerated since his indictment in 2020. He was accused of sexual harassment, as well as rape of minors aged 15 to 18. He had denied the allegations.
Brunel was also suspected of scouting young women for Epstein, who was found hanged in a New York jail as he awaited trial for allegedly running a ring using underage girls for sex. Brunel previously pleaded guilty to prostitution charges involving a minor in Florida in 2008.
According to a New York Times report, a French official confirmed that Brunel was found hanged overnight in his cell at La Santé, a prison in southern Paris. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because an investigation had been opened.
BBC News reported that police have opened an investigation into the circumstances of Brunel’s death.
Brunel co-founded the French modeling agency Karin Models in 1977. He also founded MC2 Model Management in the United States with funding from Epstein. He was arrested at Charles De Gaulle airport in November 2019 as he was about to board a flight to Senegal.
Brunel is one of many associates of Epstein who have been drawn into the Epstein sex offender scandal.
At the end of December, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty on 5 of 6 sex trafficking charges stemming from her years working with Jeffrey Epstein. Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial involved charges that she helped recruit, groom and pay teenage girls to engage in sex acts.
Prosecutors have said Epstein could not have sexually abused girls as young as 14 without Maxwell being his “lady of the house”. Maxwell’s attorneys said she was innocent.