Jeffrey Epstein Associate Jean-Luc Brunel Found Dead in Prison Cell in Paris

According to multiple reports, Jean-Luc Brunel died of an apparent suicide in La Santé prison

Jean-Luc Brunel
Photo: MEGA

A French model agent involved in the scandal surrounding Jeffrey Epstein and Prince Andrew was found dead in his Paris prison cell on Saturday.

According to multiple reports, Jean-Luc Brunel died of an apparent suicide in La Santé prison and was discovered around 1:30 a.m. local time.

Brunel, 74, was being held on charges involving rape involving minors. The agent, who worked in Paris and New York, was arrested by police in December 2020 at Charles De Gaulle airport, where he was attempting to board a flight to Senegal.

In a statement to CNN, Brunel's French lawyers said their client's "decision was not guided by guilt, but by a sense of injustice."

"Jean-Luc Brunel has never stopped claiming his innocence. 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," a statement by his lawyers, Mathias Chichportich, Marianne Abgrall, and Christophe Ingrain, read.

Brunel was named by Virginia Giuffre, one of the main complainants in Epstein's prosecution, in documents filed in New York and France. Giuffre, 38, claims she had sex with Brunel as a minor on several occasions.

Following the news of Brunel's death, Giuffre tweeted on Saturday, "The suicide of Jean-Luc Brunel, who abused me and countless girls and young women, ends another chapter. 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."

Epstein was charged in New York in July 2019 with having organized a network of girls for sexual exploitation. The Paris prosecutor's office, alerted by the potential existence of French minors among the victims, opened a preliminary investigation in August 2019.

Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted last year.

In December, a jury convicted the British socialite, 60, of five out of six felony charges that accused her of recruiting, enticing, and transporting minors to engage in illegal sex acts with Epstein. The charges were laid out in an indictment involving allegations from four different accusers, each carrying its own penalty.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up forPEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

Like Brunel, Epstein died by suicide in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City in August 2019.

Brunel was being held on charges awaiting a court date. He had been released under judicial supervision for a few days last November, before being returned to detention by decision of the investigating chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal.

A police inquiry has been launched into the circumstances involving his death.

Related Articles