Jeffrey Epstein’s associate Jean-Luc Brunel has committed suicide by hanging at the La Sante prison in Paris. The 75-year-old French modeling agent was facing investigations for providing underage girls for Epstein. His body was found around 1:30 am on Saturday morning, The Washington Post reports.
Many French and American models accused Brunel of rape and sexual assault, the same charges Epstein faced in the United States. Although Brunel denied the allegations, the authorities said the model hunter engaged in the trafficking of underage girls for sex and also raped them. He was accused of trafficking girls to Epstein, 66, who also died by hanging himself with a bedsheet on August 10, 2019.
“Jean-Luc Brunel has never stopped claiming his innocence,” his team of lawyers said. “He has multiplied his efforts to prove it. A judge had released him a few months ago, and then he was re-incarcerated in undignified conditions.”
Arrested at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in December 2020 in Paris, Brunel was charged with raping a 15-year-old girl and trafficking others for sexual exploitation. In November 2021, he was released briefly to be supervised, but the Paris Court of Appeals sent him back to prison while French prosecutors worked on charging him properly.
Some of Brunel’s victims were Virginia Roberts Giuffre who claimed he raped her as a teen. Thysia Huisman, a 48-year-old former model also alleged that Brunel raped her in 1991 when she was 18. Giuffre and Huisman among others said they looked forward to facing him in court and were sad to hear of his death in prison.
“The suicide of Jean-Luc Brunel, who abused me and countless girls and young women, ends another chapter,” Giuffre stated. “I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to face him in a final trial to hold him accountable, but gratified that I was able to testify in person last year to keep him in prison.”
Giuffre had also accused Prince Andrew of Britain of sexual exploitation and revealed in court filings that Epstein arranged her for the British prince when she was only a teenager. Andrew settled Giuffre out of court to close the lawsuit against him, but Brunel had died a few days after Andrew’s settlement to Giuffre.
Epstein’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell is also charged with sexually abusing teenagers and paying them to have sex with the billionaire investor. He was convicted in December 2021 and faces up to 60 years in prison.
“Rather than be held accountable, he [Brunel] just checked out,” said attorney Brad Edwards who represented Giuffre and other sex victims who spoke out about Epstein. “They’re both very selfish people, so if the world isn’t going to be what they want it to be, then there’s no sense in living. Everybody was looking forward to accountability. Anytime that they’re deprived in this way, it feels like a form of re-victimization.”