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International News Feb 19, 2022 9:55 PM EST

Epstein associate Jean-Luc Brunel found hanged in prison cell

Brunel was found hanged by his bedsheets in his prison cell.

Epstein associate Jean-Luc Brunel found hanged in prison cell
James Anthony Montreal QC

Epstein associate Jean-Luc Brunel, co-founder of MC2 Model Management, was found dead Saturday in his prison cell, according to French authorities.

Brunel was awaiting trial on charges of sexual assault and rape. The deceased septuagenarian was also being investigated for trafficking minors, including girls as young as 12-years-old, according to French news reports.

The disgraced model scout was found hanged by his bedsheets in his cell around 1:30 am local time at La Sante prison, the Paris prosecutor's office told CNN.

According to the Independent, lawyers for the French fashion model agent suggested he had killed himself, according to reports in the French press.

Brunel's legal team reportedly released a statement to reporters saying that "his decision was not driven by guilt, but by a deep 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," Brunel's lawyers Mathias Chichportich, Marianne Abgrall and Christophe Ingrain said in a statement to CNN.

Brunel, who's been the subject of sexual abuse allegations, was accused of helping to groom and procure underage victims for convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein also died in prison under similar circumstances back in August 2019.

The brother of Ghislaine Maxwell called Brunel's death "really shocking."

"Another death by hanging in a high-security prison. My reaction is one of total shock and bewilderment," Ian Maxwell told the New York Post.

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