Jeffrey Epstein's associate, Jean-Luc Brunel, found hanged in Paris prison cell

The former modeling agent was detained in 2020 under suspicion of the rape and sex-trafficking of minors

By Kelly McClure

Published February 19, 2022 9:59AM (EST)

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend de Grisogono Sponsors The 2005 Wall Street Concert Series Benefitting Wall Street Rising, with a Performance by Rod Stewart at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005 in New York City. (JoeSchildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend de Grisogono Sponsors The 2005 Wall Street Concert Series Benefitting Wall Street Rising, with a Performance by Rod Stewart at Cipriani Wall Street on March 15, 2005 in New York City. (JoeSchildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Jean-Luc Brunel, a former modeling agent and associate of Jeffrey Epstein, was found hanged in his prison cell in La Santé prison in Paris on Saturday morning.

Brunel was being held in remand at La Santé after being detained at Charles de Gaulle airport while attempting to board a plane for Dakar in December 2020. Brunel was accused of the alleged rape and sexual harassment of minors, and was also under investigation for ties to an alleged sex-trafficking ring that was thought to have supplied Epstein and his cohorts with "underage girls for sexual exploitation," according to The Guardian

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Jean-Luc Brunel, 75 at the time of his death, was vocal in denying the accusations poised against him, although several models had stepped forward accusing him of rape and sexual assault, and French police were said to have interviewed hundreds of witnesses speaking against Brunel's behavior. 

A long history of similar accusations is indicative of Brunel's most recent investigations against him. In 1999 Brunel had been banned from the Karin Models agency, which he ran and scouted for, after a BBC investigative report unveiled reports of abuse. After that point he relocated to the United States and started the MC2 Model Management using funding from Jeffrey Epstein. During his career, Brunel took credit for the discovery of many models such as Christy Turlington and Milla Jovovich, who both went on to have fantastic careers despite his association.


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The French prosecutors' office has opened an investigation into Brunel's death this morning, and more information will be revealed pending its conclusion.

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Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is a journalist and fiction writer who lives in New Orleans. She is Salon's Nights and Weekends editor, and her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere

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Aggregate Jean-luc Brunel Jeffrey Epstein Sex Trafficking