A one-time French modeling agency head suspected of steering underage girls to sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein was found hanging in a Paris prison cell early Saturday in a scene reminiscent of the U.S. entrepreneur’s 2019 jailhouse suicide, authorities said.
The body of Jean-Luc Brunel, 75, was discovered inside the La Sante prison 14 months after his arrest at the Charles de Gaulle airport while attempting to board a plane for Senegal. He emerged as a suspect in two French cases involving young female victims, with investigators eventually questioning the white pedophile about the human trafficking of girls for sex.
Several top models accused the diabolical Paris-born founder of two modeling agencies with rape and sexual abuse, with French investigators reportedly conducting hundreds of witness interviews.
The sex terrorist was introduced to Epstein in the 1980s by mutual friend Ghislane Maxwell, who faces up to 65 years in prison at her June 28 sentencing after a Manhattan jury convicted her two months ago of grooming teen-age girls for sex with the globe-trotting American.
Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre charged Brunel with luring women, including minors, into her attacker’s orbit with the promise of modeling work. And she recounted how Epstein once boasted of sleeping with with more than 1,000 “of Brunel’s girls.”
Britain’s Prince Andrew, a friend of Epstein, agreed this week past to settle a sexual abuse lawsuit brought by Giuffre for a reported $13.5 million.
One-time Dutch model Thysia Huisman, who told police that she was raped by Brunel as a teen, said she was irate over his suicide and upset that he will never be prosecuted.
“It makes me angry, because I’ve been fighting for years,” Huisman said. “For me, the end of this was to be in court. And now that whole ending — which would help form closure — is taken away from me.”
The pedophile ran the prestigious Karin Models agency during the 1990s, a job that disappeared by the end of the decade after a BBC undercover report on abuse in the modeling world. The model talent scout moved to the U.S. and launched his MC2 Model Management thanks to financial assistance from Epstein.
Among the well-known models discovered by Brunel were Milla Jovovich and Christy Turlington.
Photos showed Epstein, Maxwelll and Brunel flying together on American financier’s private jet, later known as “The Lolita Express.”
Attorneys for Brunel issued a statement insisting on their client’s innocence.
“His distress was that of a man of 75 years old caught up in a media-legal system that we should be questioning,” the statement read. “Jean-Luc Brunel never stopped claiming his innocence and had made many efforts to prove it.
“His (suicide) decision was not driven by guilt but by a deep sense of injustice.”