Update (1944ET): Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat who served a stretch in federal prison and presumably knows a thing or two about how prisons work from the inside, has some questions now that Brunel has been found hanged in another apparent "suicide" tied to the Epstein case.
It's a mighty big coincidence that something like this could happen.
"Who’s killing these guys in their prison cells? First Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his cell, and now Jean Luc Brunel, a modeling agent with ties to Epstein, was found dead in his cell. I know about life in prison and this looks like more than a coincidence to me."
Who’s killing these guys in their prison cells? First Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his cell, and now Jean Luc Brunel, a modeling agent with ties to Epstein, was found dead in his cell.— Rod Blagojevich (@realBlagojevich) February 19, 2022
I know about life in prison and this looks like more than a coincidence to me.
And he's not the only one asking questions.
Wow. What an amazing coincidence ...https://t.co/pkxIsOm3Tb— Sue Ellen Collins ✍️ (@SECollins) February 19, 2022
🚨BREAKING Jean-Luc Brunel was found dead on Friday night in his prison cell at La Santé in Paris. The cause of death is "hanging".— Kirby Sommers author/sex slave survivor/espionage (@KirbySommers) February 19, 2022
This is not a coincidence.https://t.co/amBqsv84hX
And it begs another question: are the cameras monitoring inmates ever even on?
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Update (1540ET): Reporters who have been following the Epstein case have started to weigh in on Twitter, noting that Brunel's death was "a devastating setback for the victims."
This is shocking. Devastating setback for the victims.— Alana Goodman (@alanagoodman) February 19, 2022
Jean-Luc Brunel was probably the most significant player in Epstein's sex trafficking operation, other than Ghislaine. He helped Epstein procure underage victims and his name is all over the phone records. https://t.co/jzC45H1QMf
Even the family of Ghislaine Maxwell, who is still imprisoned, now allegedly "fears for her safety" after the second death of a high-profile offender related to the case who was in a highly secure facility.
The NYPost reached out to Maxwell's brother, Ian Maxwell, who told the New York tabloid that his family is extremely concerned after Brunel's death - allegedly suicide by hanging, circumstances similar to those surrounding the death of Epstein himself -
"It’s really shocking," Ian Maxwell, one of Ghislaine’s siblings, told The Post. "Another death by hanging in a high-security prison. My reaction is one of total shock and bewilderment."
In an interview from his home in London, Maxwell said the family “fears for her safety” at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where she is being held.
Maxwell is due to be sentenced in June. The family added that it's unconscionable that Brunel wasn't on suicide watch, and reiterated that Maxwell has never expressed being suicidal.
As we said below, Maxwell is due to be sentenced in June. Her attorney Bobbi Sternheim refused to comment.
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Stop us if you've seen this one before...
Alternatively described as Jeffrey Epstein's "best mate" and "pimp", Jean-Luc Brunel, a former French modeling agent who has been imprisoned since 2020 on charges he aided Epstein's sex-trafficking enterprise, has committed suicide in his cell, according to French newspapers Le Monde and Le Parisian.
He was found hanged in his prison cell at La Santé in Paris just a week after Prince Andrew reached a multi-million dollar settlement with Virginia Giuffre, an Epstein trafficking victim whom Brunel was also alleged to have abused.
Brunel, 76, had been indicted and imprisoned in December 2020 after being denied bail following accusations of rape and sexual assault of minors. including three 12-year-old sisters. He also faced investigation over human trafficking and being part of a criminal conspiracy amid his association with Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.
Specifically, he is alleged to have flown the three sisters to America from Paris so they could be a "birthday present" for Epstein. He is known to have taken at least 25 trips on Epstein's private plane, "the Lolita Express". When Epstein was locked up in 2008, he was a regular visitor to his jail in Florida.
Media reports have repeatedly described Brunel as a key member of Epstein's inner circle. However, now that he is gone, it's believed he will take many secrets to his grave. His old pal Epstein was also found "hanged" in his cell in Manhattan pending trial back in 2019. In that case, the guards who were supposed to be watching him later struck a plea deal to avoid jail time.
Prosecutors have opened an investigation into Brunel's cause of death.
The French fashion agent was originally detained at Charles de Gaulle Airport as he was about to fly to Senegal.
Brunel denied involvement "directly or indirectly" in any of Epstein’s alleged crimes in a statement he issued in 2015. It read: "I strongly deny having committed any illicit act or any wrongdoing in the course of my work."
But Giuffre alleged that Brunel "farmed out" modelling hopefuls to the pedophile, as well as other men, for sex. She also claimed she was once forced to have sex with Brunel at Epstein’s home. She also alleged that Brunel once set up a photo-shoot with seven Russian girls which Prince Andrew watched.
She later claimed in an affidavit that Epstein had slept with "over 1,000" of Brunel's girls.
In 2019, French cops raided the offices of Karin Models, an agency founded by Brunel. They received evidence from several of his former victims who waived their anonymity to speak out.
New Zealander Zoe Brock has claimed in statements made to French investigators that she was abused in his Paris home in the early 1990s. Meanwhile, Dutch model Thysia Huisman, who was 18 when she first stayed with Brunel, said she was raped by him in 1991.
Brunel's former associate, Ghislaine Maxwell (who allegedly introduced him to Epstein) was found guilty in the US back in December. Her sentencing has been tentatively set for June.
Of course, the jokes practically write themselves...
👀 Jean-Luc Brunel, 74, was found hanging in his cell in La Santé, Paris, at 1am during a night time check in.— PiQ (@PriapusIQ) February 19, 2022
~ Video cameras in his cell were not running at the time he died. pic.twitter.com/SrhE5aWqCZ