A French ex-associate of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was detained in Paris after vanishing for a lengthy period following Epstein’s 2019 arrest, BFM TV reported, according to Reuters.
Jean-Luc Brunel was placed in custody, on charges of rape, sexual assault against minors, sexual harassment, criminal conspiracy, and human trafficking, Agence France-Presse reported. He was reportedly preparing to take a flight to Senegal.
Le septuagénaire, fondateur des agences Karin Models et MC2 Model Management, a été placé en garde à vue pour viols et agressions sexuelles, notamment sur mineurs, harcèlement sexuel, association de malfaiteurs et traite des êtres humains, a confirmé le parquet de Paris #AFP
— Agence France-Presse (@afpfr) December 17, 2020
#Epstein : Accusé de viols, l’agent de mannequins Jean-Luc #Brunel, proche du milliardaire Epstein, est en garde à vue depuis mercredi dans les locaux de l’OCRVP. Arrêté à Roissy alors qu’il s’apprêtait à prendre un vol pour le Sénégal. (Source proche du dossier @20Minutes) pic.twitter.com/MUrfgVHX6f
— Vincent Vantighem (@vvantighem) December 17, 2020
Brunel, a modeling agent, was alleged to have fostered an abusive culture at his agencies and to have also participated in Epstein’s sex ring by recruiting young women for him. Brunel denied committing any “illicit acts or any wrongdoing” in the course of his work after Virginia Giuffre, an Epstein accuser, claimed she was forced to have sex with Brunel, according to the Cut. (RELATED: Epstein Accuser Says She Gave FBI The Infamous Prince Andrew Photo In 2011)
Brunel is also reported to have lived in Epstein’s New York City mansion.
The two men had a falling out, and in January 2015, Brunel sued Epstein over the “adverse publicity” that Epstein’s illegal activities created, costing Brunel millions in profits and sending him into a deep depression.
Following Epstein’s death, Brunel disappeared, although cell phone tracking reportedly determined that he was in France in July. In 2019, a month after Epstein’s death, the home offices for Karin Models, the agency Brunel founded, were raided. No charges were pressed against him.