A protest group called “Hot Mess” hold signs of Jeffrey Epstein outside the federal courthouse on July 8, 2019 in New York City.
Stephanie Keith | Getty Images
French modeling agent Jean Luc Brunel has been arrested in Paris as part of an investigation into Jeffrey Epsteinaccording to French prosecutors.
Brunel was arrested Wednesday morning at Charles de Gaulle airport as he tried to board a plane bound for Dakar, Senegal. He was being held for questioning on suspicion of supplying Epstein with underage girls from his modeling agency for the purpose of sexual abuse.
Brunel faced several charges, including rape, sexual assault on a minor and trafficking of minors, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office.
He was taken into custody after showing his passport and airport authorities found he was identified in an immigration system as being wanted for questioning by national police, according to a French police source.
A lawyer for Brunel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Brunel previously denied any wrongdoing in a 2015 lawsuit against Epstein in which he alleged “negative publicity” surrounding the financier damaged his reputation.
The arrest comes more than a year after the Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into sexual abuse linked to Epstein and his possible accomplices.
An accuser of Epstein, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, said she was also abused by Brunel. Giuffre claimed in a 2016 deposition made public last year that Epstein and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell ordered him to provide sexual services to Brunel.
Speaking to NBC’s “Dateline” in a special broadcast last SeptemberGiuffre said Epstein told him he had slept with “over a thousand women that Brunel had brought”.
Epstein died by suicide in a New York prison in August 2019 while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell, his longtime confidant, was arrested in July and remains imprisoned in New York.
Prosecutors say she helped the disgraced financier sexually abuse young girls in the mid-1990s and participated in some of the abuse herself. She pleaded not guilty to charges of enticing a minor to travel to engage in criminal sexual activity and perjury.