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.
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.