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Jean-Luc Brunel, an associate of Jeffrey Epstein, has been arrested in France on human trafficking and rape charges.
Brunel, a prominent French modelling agent, was reportedly detained at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris as he was about to board a plane to Senegal yesterday, December 16.
Prosecutors said today he was arrested following allegations of rape, sexual assault of minors, human trafficking and being part of a criminal conspiracy, though Brunel has denied any wrongdoing.
The arrest came after police opened a probe last year after following accusations of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment against Brunel, Reuters reports.
In 2015, the Brunel sued Epstein on claims his high-profile legal troubles had unfairly damaged his modelling agency’s reputation.
According to Fox News, Brunel’s name emerged as an alleged collaborator in Epstein’s abuse of underage girls following Epstein’s death last August. One former model, Thysia Huisman, told the outlet she was barely 18 years old when her modelling agency sent her to an apartment building in Paris belonging to Brunel.
Huisman alleged that Brunel told her she was to sleep in his bed, and that there was ‘a lot of harassment.’ She added: ‘Every day, I kept telling myself to leave, it didn’t feel right, and I still hate myself that I didn’t leave.’
The former model told Fox she knew of 11 other women who had gone to officials with accusations against Brunel.
An attorney for Brunel, Corinne Dreyfus-Schmidt, said last year that her client ‘firmly contests accusations in the press’.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas.
Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on their website or on their free helpline 0808 800 5005, open 9am–5pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 8am–8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10am–2pm Saturdays.
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