Paris police are investigating Brunel’s dying, the prosecutor’s workplace mentioned. The circumstances of his dying weren’t made public and Brunel’s attorneys didn’t touch upon it.
Brunel denied wrongdoing and mentioned by way of his lawyer that he was keen to speak to investigators. Brunel’s authorized group had repeatedly complained concerning the situations of his detention and sought to have him launched pending trial.
A frequent companion of Epstein, Brunel was thought of central to the French investigation into alleged sexual exploitation of girls and ladies by the U.S. financier and his circle. Epstein traveled typically to France and had flats in Paris.
A number of ladies who recognized themselves as victims have spoken to police for the reason that French probe was opened in 2019, and at instances expressed frustration with the gradual tempo of the investigation.
One among them, Thysia Huisman, mentioned the information of Brunel’s dying despatched her into “shock.”
“It makes me indignant, as a result of I’ve been preventing for years,” Huisman, a Dutch former mannequin who advised police she was raped by Brunel as a teen, advised The Related Press. “For me, the top of this was to be in court docket. And now that entire ending — which might assist type closure — is taken away from me.”
A lawyer representing Huisman and different victims, Anne-Claire Lejeune, mentioned different ladies concerned within the case really feel the identical.
“Nice disappointment, nice frustration that (the victims) received’t get justice,” she advised The AP.
She expressed doubt that the investigation would result in a trial as a result of Brunel was so central to the case. She additionally voiced considerations that Brunel’s dying imply his accusers received’t get official recognition of their standing as victims.
“To rebuild your self (after abuse), that is without doubt one of the important steps,” Huisman mentioned.
She expressed hope that Brunel’s dying received’t discourage ladies from persevering with to talk out about abuse. The investigation, together with a rising reckoning about sexual misconduct in France, has “freed up ladies to speak about it,” she mentioned. “It’s a troublesome step that requires loads of braveness and power.”
One among Epstein’s important accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, has alleged that Brunel procured ladies, a few of them minors, for intercourse with Epstein and different folks, luring them with guarantees of modeling work.