Is Virginia Roberts Giuffre the reason Jean Luc Brunel was arrested?
The sordid story of Jeffrey Epstein and his sex-trafficking ring continues, as former sex-slave Virginia Roberts Giuffre gives evidence to French officials that she was raped by Epstein’s friend, model agent Jean-Luc Brunel. Brunel is alleged to have attacked teenage Virginia repeatedly while a guest on Epstein’s Caribbean compound on Little St. James – dubbed “Pedo Island”.
Giuffre, thirty-seven, is now the key witness in the prosecution of Brunel, seventy-five, after claiming that both he and Prince Andrew, sixty, used her as their sex slave. The two men deny any wrongdoing. In December, Brunel was remanded in custody in Paris after being charged with multiple rapes of Giuffre and a separate case of sexual harassment against an unidentified complainant.
“The multiple rape charges solely relate to the testimony of Virginia Giuffre, and not any of the other alleged rape victims,” said an investigating source.
Giuffre has provided sworn testimony that she was raped on several occasions by Brunel between the ages of sixteen and nineteen, mostly at Epstein’s private island retreat. She also alleges she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew while he was staying there – which he vehemently denies.
Touching the untouchable
The action followed dozens of women saying Brunel abused them while running an underage sex ring with Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in prison in 2019. Almost all of the accusations leveled against Brunel are from the 1970s, 80s and 90s, meaning they fall outside the twenty-year limit for prosecuting sex crimes in France.
This meant that Brunel was considered “untouchable” by police, who nicknamed him “The Ghost”, as he carried on living and working in the French capital, while frequently traveling abroad on scouting assignments and holidays. In November, Giuffre responded to an online English language appeal by French magistrates for alleged victims to come forward.
“Ms. Giuffre now lives in Australia but responded to the appeal,” said the source. “She was interviewed remotely, and provided considerable evidence against Brunel. She said that she was raped by Brunel in the early 2000s, including in 2001. This was a considerable breakthrough for the inquiry.” It meant that the alleged crime was well within the statute of limitations, and therefore prosecutable.
Snagged while sneaking
Officers originally planned to arrest Brunel in January following further inquiries, but, on December 16, 2020, he was stopped at Charles de Gaulle airport with a one-way ticket to Dakar in West Africa where there is no extradition treaty. “This led to his immediate arrest and he was placed in custody,” said the source.
Brunel was the founder of MC2, the model agency that prosecutors believe was used as a cover for the sex trafficking ring. The out-of-time evidence against Brunel comes from a number of former models, who – like Giuffre – have waived their anonymity to make their allegations public.
Decades of decadence
New Zealander Zoe Brock has claimed in statements made to French investigators that she was abused in Brunel’s Paris home in the early 1990s. The Dutch model, Thysia Huisman, who was eighteen when she first stayed with Brunel, said she was raped by him in 1991.
Huisman is now one of at least four alleged victims represented by Anne-Claire Le Jeune, a Paris barrister, who said Brunel being in custody was a huge relief, because their complaints now “take on meaning”.
Brunel, who has worked with celebrities including Jerry Hall, Sharon Stone and Monica Bellucci, is also suspected of using his contacts in the fashion industry to provide victims to Epstein and his friends. He is said to have flown twelve-year-old sisters from a Paris housing estate to America so they could be abused by Epstein as “a birthday present”.