Jeffrey Epstein's 'pal' and associate found dead in French prison

19 February 2022, 14:17 | Updated: 19 February 2022, 14:28

Jean-Luc Brunel (right) pictured with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell
Jean-Luc Brunel (right) pictured with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

A close friend and associate of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has been found dead in a French prison.

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Former modelling agent Jean-Luc Brunel was found in his cell at the Sante prison in Paris at around 1am on Saturday morning, according to the prosecutor's office.

An investigation has been opened into the death of the 76-year-old.

Read more: Prince Andrew's Epstein and Maxwell links ‘horrifically ill-advised,' minister tells LBC

Read more: Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of trafficking teenage girls for abuse by Jeffrey Epstein

He was detained at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris in 2020 as part of a broad French probe unleashed by sex trafficking charges in the US against Epstein.

He was suspected of finding young girls for an Epstein-organised paedophile ring spanning the globe.

Fresh press said Brunel's lawyers have suggested he killed himself, with Le Monde quoting his legal team as saying the act was "not driven by guilt, but by a deep sense of injustice".

Epstein killed himself in prison while awaiting trial in 2019.

Read more: First accuser claims Ghislaine Maxwell watched Epstein sexually abuse her when she was 14

Read more: Prince Andrew accuser's $500,000 deal with Jeffrey Epstein made public

Brunel co-founded a modelling agency with funding from Epstein.

He then lured young girls for Epstein with promises of modelling work, Virginia Giuffre claimed.

Ms Giuffre herself has alleged she was trafficked by Epstein - and court documents show she claimed Brunel was one of the men she was forced to have sex with while still a teenager.

The news comes days after Prince Andrew agreed to settle a case in which he was accused of abusing Ms Guiffre when she was a teenager.

The royal has been stripped of his titles and patronages, and agreed to make a "substantial donation to Ms Giuffre's charity in support of victims' rights".

It is not clear where the money for this will come from.

The Prince has always denied the allegations against him.

Read more: Taxpayers face £7million bill if Prince Andrew is forced out of his Windsor home

Read more: Prince Andrew has spent the last two years victim blaming, claims ex-chief prosecutor

In December 2021, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of trafficking teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein.

The verdict came after a month-long trial where women described being abused as teenagers in the 1990s and early 2000s at Epstein's homes in Florida, New York and New Mexico.

If you found any of the above content distressing or are feeling suicidal, you can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.

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