Epstein-linked modelling agent found dead in prison
Warning: This episode contains details of sexual assault.
On Feb. 19, Jean-Luc Brunel, a top French modelling scout and longtime associate of the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was found dead in his Paris prison cell. The 75-year-old was being held on suspicion of sexually abusing minors and sex-trafficking.
Allegations against Brunel date back to his time as the head of top-ranked modelling agency Karin Models in the '80s and '90s, when he had close personal relationships with Epstein and other powerful figures. The long-running investigation into Epstein revealed ties to Brunel and the role he may have played in a global sex-trafficking ring that potentially targeted thousands of underage women.
Today on Front Burner, we hear from former models Heather Braden and Thysia Huisman who say they were among Brunel's victims while they were underage and living in New York and Paris in the '80s. Then, we talk to The Guardian's Jon Henley about the circumstances surrounding Brunel's death, which echo that of Epstein's, who died by suicide in prison.
Brunel's death has ignited a firestorm of questions, even conspiracy theories, as another purported sex trafficker dies before anybody gets answers.