Ghislaine Maxwell’s Family ‘Fears for Her Safety’ After Alleged Epstein Accomplice Found Dead

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York. He covers breaking news.
February 20, 2022Updated: February 20, 2022

The family of UK socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted on sex trafficking charges in 2021, has said that they’re fearful for her safety following the death of model agent Jean-Luc Brunel in his French jail cell on Feb. 19.

Maxwell allegedly introduced Brunel to Jeffrey Epstein, a disgraced financier and sex offender who was found dead in a New York jail cell in August 2019.

While Epstein’s death was officially ruled a suicide, questions remain about his cause of death—namely after an independent forensic pathologist said in 2020 that his death was “more indicative of homicide.” Now, many are asking questions about Brunel’s death after reports said no cameras recorded his death.

“It’s really shocking,” Ian Maxwell, one of Ghislaine’s siblings, told the New York Post. “Another death by hanging in a high-security prison. My reaction is one of total shock and bewilderment.”

Maxwell said the family “fears for [Ghislaine’s] safety” at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. She is currently awaiting sentencing.

“Despite the psychiatrist advising to the contrary, she was deemed a suicide risk and they are continuing to wake her up every 15 minutes in the night. It’s a complete violation of prisoner rights and human rights,” Ian Maxwell told the paper.

Brunel was found dead at about 1:30 a.m. on Feb. 19 in the La Santé Prison in Paris, hanged with bedsheets, according to statements the Paris prosecutor’s office made to media outlets, It isn’t clear if officials ruled whether Brunel killed himself.

Brunel’s attorneys told CNN that his “decision was not guided by guilt, but by a sense of injustice.” They suggested that he may have killed himself.

“Jean-Luc Brunel has never stopped claiming his innocence. He has multiplied his efforts to prove it. A judge had released him a few months ago, and then he was reincarcerated in undignified conditions,” attorneys Mathias Chichportich, Marianne Abgrall, and Christophe Ingrain said.

Brunel was detained at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport in 2020 as part of a broad French probe unleashed by U.S. sex-trafficking charges against Epstein. A frequent companion of Epstein, Brunel was considered central to the French investigation into the alleged sexual exploitation of women and girls by Epstein—who in 2008 pleaded guilty to state charges in Florida of soliciting and procuring a minor for prostitution—and his circle.

Epstein reportedly often traveled to France and owned apartments in Paris.

Multiple women claimed they were victims of Brunel. One of them, Thysia Huisman, said on Feb. 19 that his death “makes me angry because I’ve been fighting for years.”

“For me, the end of this was to be in court. And now, that whole ending—which would help form closure—is taken away from me,” Huisman said.

In December 2021, Maxwell was found guilty of helping Epstein abuse female minors. Her sentencing date was tentatively set by a judge for June.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.