PARIS -- According to NBC News, a French model agent was found dead in his cell by Jeffrey Epstein , a convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein .
They said that Jean-Luc Brunel died by suicide after he was found hanging from his sheets.
They said that a police investigation was opened to determine the cause of death. This is the same as for all deaths in prison.
Brunel was the head of several modeling agencies, including the Karin Models Agency. He was also charged with the rape and sexual harassment of at least one minor under the age of 15. He was about to fly to Senegal when he was detainedat Charles de Gaulle Airport.
The prosecutors declined to give details about the number of victims of rape he had alleged at that time.
Brunel, a frequent companion to Epstein, denied wrongdoing. Brunel also stated via his lawyer that they were open to discussing the matter with investigators. Brunel's legal team repeatedly complained about his conditions in detention and wanted him to be released until he was tried.
He died less than three years ago, when Epstein was found dead inside his New York prison cell . This occurred while he was waiting for trial on federal charges. Since then, his death has been ruled suicide.
Ghislaine Maxwell was Epstein's confidante and close friend. She was found guilty of five counts sex trading last Dec for her role in grooming young girls that would be abused by Epstein. She will be sentenced in June.
was one of Epstein's most prominent accusers. She had testified against Epstein at closed-door testimony in Paris last June.
In 2019, she told NBC's "Dateline," that Brunel once told her he had slept "over a thousand" women.
Recently, Britain's Prince Andrew agreed to settle a case where Giuffre had accused him of sexual abuse at the age of 17. Giuffre, who is now living in Australia, claimed that Maxwell and Epstein forced her to have sex in the 1990s with Andrew while she was still underage.
This accusation has been repeatedly refuted by Maxwell and the royal. Andrew reached a settlement in which he agreed to make a significant donation to Giuffre’s charity. This avoids a trial.
Giuffre was just one of many victims who spoke to police, sometimes expressing frustration at the slow pace of the investigation.
ThysiaHuisman, one of the survivors, stated that she was in shock when she heard about Brunel's passing.
Huisman, a former Dutch model, said that Brunel raped her as a teenager. "For me, the ending of this was to take place in court. This is the end of it all. It would have been a closure.
Anne-Claire Lejeune (a lawyer representing Huisman, and other victims), said that other women involved in this case feel the exact same.
She told The Associated Press, "Great disappointment, great frustration that victims won't receive justice."
She said that Brunel's passing would not discourage women speaking out about sexual abuse. She said that the investigation and growing awareness of sexual misconduct in France has "freed up women for talking about it." She said, "It's a difficult task that requires courage and strength."
Brunel's lawyers told NBC News that Brunel had "never stopped claiming innocence and had made many attempts to prove it." Brunel's decision was not motivated by guilt, but by a deep sense that injustice was at the root of his actions.