Ghislaine Maxwell Family ‘Fears For Her Safety’ as Epstein Pal Jean-Luc Brunel Found Hanged in Cell
07:30 GMT 20.02.2022 (Updated: 07:43 GMT 20.02.2022)
Jean-Luc Brunel, a former modeling agent who was close to the late convicted pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein, and was being held in an investigation into the alleged rape and trafficking of minors for sexual exploitation was found dead on Saturday in his French jail cell.
The family of Ghislaine Maxwell, convicted last December for recruiting and grooming teenagers for the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, fear for her safety at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn after former model agent Jean-Luc Brunel was found hanged in his Paris prison cell on Saturday, reported the New York Post.
Brunel, who had been accused of partaking in the alleged sex trafficking ring run by the tycoon Epstein, was arrested in December 2020 and charged with the rape of a minor by French prosecutors. He was found hanged with bed sheets in his cell at the Santé prison at around 1:30 a.m. local time on 19 February, according to the prosecutor's office. French prison authorities told local media that "no breach" in security at the prison had occurred,
An investigation into the cause of death has been opened, entrusted to the French judicial police.
19 February 2022, 10:36 GMT
Ghislaine Maxwell is the one who is believed to have introduced Brunel to billionaire Epstein, who also died by hanging in his Manhattan cell in August 2019, while awaiting trial for multiple child sex offences. Officials at the time ruled the cause a suicide – something that his lawyers had challenged at the time. Epstein had been taken off suicide watch shortly before his death, which is still surrounded by speculation and conspiracies.
"It’s really shocking… Another death by hanging in a high-security prison. My reaction is one of total shock and bewilderment," Ian Maxwell, one of Ghislaine Maxwell’s brothers, told the Post in an interview from his home in London.
After her conviction on 20 December, Maxwell was placed in a room at the prison with a psychiatrist and two other cellmates, including a guard. Furthermore, everything is recorded on camera, said her brother, who insisted she was not suicidal.
"Despite the psychiatrist advising to the contrary, she was deemed a suicide risk and they are continuing to wake her up every 15 minutes in the night. It’s a complete violation of prisoner rights and human rights," Ian Maxwell said.
Maxwell found it "ironic" that Epstein and Brunel had not been on suicide watches in their respective prisons.
There has been no official comment yet from Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorney, Bobbi Sternheim.
Jean-Luc Brunel, who originally ran Karin Models in Paris and later formed MC2 Model Management after getting funds of "up to a million dollars" in 2004 from Epstein, was detained at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport in 2020 as part of a French probe triggered by the US sex-trafficking charges against Epstein.
Epstein and Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre claimed in a 2015 affidavit that the model scout sexually trafficked girls for the tycoon, who had boasted to her that he had “slept with over 1,000 of Brunel’s girls”.
One could be an accident, but two...— Grouse Beater (@Grouse_Beater) February 19, 2022
Jean-Luc Brunel, 75 former boss of a French model agency accused of rape and under investigation on suspicion of supplying underage girls to the late American financier Jeffrey Epstein has been found dead in his prison cell a few hours ago. pic.twitter.com/S7Fu74Y8DX
Brunel was arrested in 2020 on counts of "rape and sexual assault, rape and sexual assault on a minor under 15, rape and sexual assault on a minor over 15, sexual harassment, criminal associations and human trafficking to the detriment of minor victims for the purposes of sexual exploitation."
"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," Brunel's French lawyers said in a statement sent to CNN.
After Brunel’s sudden death, victims of his alleged abuse expressed dismay that he will never face trial.