A former modeling agent and close associate of billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in a Paris prison on Saturday.

Jean Luc Brunel was found hanging in his cell at the La Sante prison, where he had been jailed since December 2020 on several charges including rape, sexual assault, criminal conspiracy.

He was also accused of supplying young girls to the high-profile sex trafficking network run by American billionaire Epstein.

The Paris prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into the causes of death, a news report by French channel BFMTV said.

Brunel’s death had chilling similarities with Epstein who also committed suicide by hanging in his cell at a Manhattan jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

The case unraveled the names of several powerful figures, including British royalty, former presidents, senators, philanthropists, socialites, businesspeople, lawyers, and celebrities who were suspected of participating or being associated with the sex racket run by Epstein.

Brunel had risen to prominence in the modeling world in the 1980s and 1990s as a talent scout, going on to head Karin Mossberg’s agency, Karin Models, in Paris.

He founded the Next Management Company, which later became MC2 Model Management, reportedly funded by Epstein. Despite several accusations of abuse and harassment throughout his career, Brunel dodged prosecution and denied any wrongdoing.

Following Epstein’s arrest just after flying back from Paris in 2019, Brunel’s name once again emerged as a key link on the French side of the alleged sex trafficking ring, prompting prosecutors to open an investigation to identify potential French victims.

After multiple models and witnesses joined the probe testifying against him, he was arrested in December 2020. He was charged with rape, abuse, and organizing accommodation for young girls and women for sex on behalf of Epstein and his contacts in the US.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.