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Incarcerated for several “rapes of minors”, Jean-Luc Brunel was found on Saturday, hanged in his cell. The septuagenarian was also accused of having played the tout for Jeffrey Epstein, the American billionaire charged in July 2019 for the organization of a network of sexually exploited young girls.
A fallen pillar of the fashion world, the former French modeling agent Jean-Luc Brunel, imprisoned since the end of 2020 for several “rapes of a minor”, was found dead in his cell in the health prison in Paris overnight. from Friday 18 to Saturday 19 February.
The Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed the information obtained from a source close to the file, according to which this friend of the deceased American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein had been found dead.
An investigation into the causes of death has been opened, entrusted to the 3rd judicial police district, the source said.
Accused of rape by several former top models, which he disputed, the septuagenarian had been indicted at the end of June 2021 for “rape of a minor over the age of 15” concerning a woman, after a first indictment in December 2020 for “rape of a minor over 15” and “sexual harassment” concerning two other women.
He had, moreover, been placed under the intermediate status of assisted witness for the facts of “aggravated human trafficking to the detriment of minor victims for the purpose of sexual exploitation”.
His death means the extinction of public action in this case, unless other people were to be implicated.
“His distress was that of a 75-year-old man crushed by a media-judicial system on which it would be time to question himself. Jean-Luc Brunel has never ceased to proclaim his innocence. He has multiplied his efforts to make it the proof”, reacted on Saturday his lawyers, Mathias Chichportich, Marianne Abgrall and Christophe Ingrain.
Incarcerated in December 2020 after his indictment, he was released for a few days at the end of 2021, “then he was reincarcerated in unworthy conditions”, according to his advice, on the decision of the Paris Court of Appeal. He had filed an appeal.
“His decision was not guided by guilt but by a deep sense of injustice,” according to his lawyers.
A role of presumed tout
Disappeared from the radar for years – with the exception of an appearance in a posh evening in Levallois-Perret in July 2019 – Jean-Luc Brunel was accused of having played the tout for Jeffrey Epstein, dangling a career in modeling to young girls from modest backgrounds.
Figure of the international jet set and friend of the powerful, Jeffrey Epstein was charged in July 2019 in the United States for the organization, between 2002 and 2005 at least, of a network of sexually exploited young girls. He committed suicide in his New York prison in early August 2019.
The name of Jean-Luc Brunel, founder in 1978 of the prestigious agency Karin Models, left for the United States to launch MC2 Model Management, appears from the first investigation on Jeffrey Epstein, in 2007-2008.
Disturbing messages were found by the Florida police, including this one, in 2005 after a phone call from “Jean-Luc”: “He has a teacher for you, to teach you to speak Russian. She is 2×8 years old , not blonde”.
Virginia Giuffre, one of the main complainants in the Epstein case and who has just concluded a financial arrangement with Prince Andrew, has also claimed to have been forced to have sex with Jean-Luc Brunel.
Alerted to the potential existence of French victims of Jeffrey Epstein, owner of an apartment on avenue Foch, the Paris prosecutor’s office had launched investigations in August 2019.
With the impact of the scandal, several former models were then out of silence to also directly accuse Jean-Luc Brunel of rape. Charges that had already appeared in a CBS documentary in 1988.
A complaint was filed two months later against Jean-Luc Brunel.
Me Anne-Claire Le Jeune, lawyer for the civil parties, spoke on Saturday of the “frustration and bitterness of not being able to obtain justice, as for the victims of Epstein”.
“It took so much courage to be able to speak up, to be heard by the police and the investigating judges, it’s quite terrible for the victims”, who according to her have the “feeling that he is leaving with a number of secrets”.
“You won’t get answers on some things,” she said.
According to concordant sources, the Central Office for the Suppression of Personal Violence (OCRVP), in charge of the investigation, had carried out more than half a thousand hearings.
Jean-Luc Brunel was arrested in December 2020 at Charles-de-Gaulle airport as he was about to take a flight to Dakar.