Brunel had been accused of raping a minor over 15 years old.
ABC News has learned that disgraced modeling agent and associate of Jeffrey Epstein, Jean Luc Brunel, killed himself in his jail cell Saturday night in Paris.
The Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed to ABC News that Brunel was found dead in his cell around 1:00 a.m. local time at La Santé prison.
Brunel’s lawyers also told ABC News that Brunel died by suicide. The prosecutor’s office declined to confirm these details of Brunel’s death.
In December 2020, Brunel was charged with rape of a minor over the age of 15 and sexual harassment, a crime in France.
“[Brunel’s] the distress (the despair) was that of a 75-year-old man who was annihilated by the judico-media lynching and one must wonder. Our client firmly asserted that he never abused women. He has gone to great lengths to prove it. His decision was not motivated by a sense of guilt but by a deep sense of injustice,” Brunel’s lawyers Mathias Chichportich, Marianne Abgrall and Christophe Ingrain said in a statement.
A Union Force Ouvrière delegate for French penitentiaries, Erwan Saoudi, further confirmed Brunel’s death.
Saoudi said prison procedure is for the prison guard to perform five checks on prisoners each night. Saoudi said there was no CCTV in Brunel’s cell – video from prison hallways proves prison guards did not miss any of these checks.
Saudi Said Brunel Killed Himself Right After Shift [of checks] “which shows the strong will of Jean-Luc Brunel to commit suicide.” Saoudi added that Brunel was not on suicide watch.
Brunel was originally arrested at Charles De Gaulle airport in December 2020. According to Paris prosecutors, Brunel was first detained in an investigation into the rape of minors and the trafficking of minors for the purpose of sexual exploitation in association with their investigation of possible crimes committed by Epstein. A few days later, Brunel was charged with rape of a minor over 15 and sexual harassment. Brunel maintained that he was innocent.
In January 2021, Virginia Giuffre flew to Paris to testify at a closed-door hearing into Brunel’s detention.
Giuffre, in the same 2014 court filing in which she first accused Prince Andrew of sexually assaulting her, claimed she was trafficked by Epstein and his girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell to Brunel.
Brunel had denied Giuffre’s allegations.
ABC News’ James Hill contributed to this report.