A photo of Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein on the ‘Lolita Express’ jet with Jean-Luc Brunel could help French cops investigating rape and child-trafficking charges against the disgraced model boss, judicial police said today.
Twice-divorced Brunel, 75, was charged with rape, sexual assault, criminal conspiracy, and the trafficking of minors by the French police last year. Like Maxwell, Brunel denies any wrongdoing and has pledged to clear his name.
But according to claims from numerous alleged victims, Brunel, 75, performed the same role for Epstein which Maxwell has been accused of in New York – scouting and supplying under-age sex victims for the billionaire.
An investigating source in the French capital said the photograph – part of a bundle of prosecution evidence in the USA – ‘points to an intimate working relationship between suspects who were said to be running a sex ring together.’
Judicial police said the photograph will ‘assist with their case against Brunel’.
Brunel was photographed on the ‘Lolita Express’ sitting in front of Ghislaine Maxwell who appears to partially unbutton her blouse in front of the two men. Epstein chuckles and Brunel, dressed in a yellow jumper and flamboyant Paisley jogging bottoms, feigns shock as he turns away.
The newly-disclosed image of Brunel has emerged in the New York court where Maxwell, 59, is on trial for transporting minors to Epstein, the late billionaire financier.
Epstein and Maxwell are seen on board the Lolita Express with French modeling scout Jean-Luc Brunel. Brunel came under scrutiny for his close ties to Epstein and was arrested in 2020, charged with rape of minors by French prosecutors
Jean-Luc Brunel play-wrestles with Ghislaine Maxwell at Jeffrey Epstein’s home on the private island of Little Saint James, in the US Virgin Islands
Lara Pomerantz, for the prosecution in Maxwell’s trial in New York, said that photographs including the one of Brunel on the plane, were found on a hard drive during a raid at Epstein’s house in New York in 2019.
Ms Pomerantz said they pointed towards a ‘close relationship over time’, and suggested that Maxwell and Epstein were ‘partners in crime’.
Meanwhile Brunel, the former boss of agencies including Karin Models, was arrested at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris a year ago as he tried to board a flight to Dakar, Senegal.
The indictment stems from an allegation that Brunel drugged a seventeen-year-old model at a nightclub and raped her in the 1990s. Brunel protested his innocence.
The latest complainant has not been named for legal reasons, but she is now in her 40s and believed to be living in the USA.
She told examining magistrates that Brunel raped her at her Paris home after a night out at a nightclub, where she believes that a drug was placed in her drinks.
The striking photos were submitted into evidence in Maxwell’s sex trafficking trial and show the British socialite massaging Epstein’s feet on the Lolita Express
The pictures of Ghislaine Maxwell massaging Epstein’s feet were taken on his private plane where he is believed to have shuttled underage girls and high-powered figures
Numerous women have made allegations against him, including Prince Andrew’s accuser, Virginia Guiffre.
Last November, Ms Giuffre, now 38, responded to an online English language appeal by French magistrates for alleged victims of Brunel to come forward.
She said she was raped by Brunel in the early 2000s – around the time that she is said to have had sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17.
The ‘multiple rapes’ of Virginia Giuffre – now a mother of three formerly called Virginia Roberts– were said to have mainly taken place at Epstein’s home on the private island of Little Saint James, in the US Virgin Islands.
It follows alleges from numerous women that Brunel abused them while running an ‘underage sex ring’ for Epstein, who committed suicide in a New York prison in 2019.
Like Prince Andrew, Brunel has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, with his lawyers saying he was being subjected ‘to a media lynching.’
According to French law, a French citizen such as Brunel can be tried in France for alleged offences committed abroad.
Brunel was last seen in public at the Paris Country Club on 5 July 2019. Following Epstein’s death in August 2019, the French National Police launched an investigation into him and prosecutors first heard allegations that Brunel and Prince Andrew had both assaulted Ms Guiffre.
In September 2019, Brunel’s Paris home and offices were raided as part of an investigation into sex trafficking by Epstein.
Ms Guiffre, now 38 – has told French police that Brunel committed multiple alleged attacks on her. She is also suing Prince Andrew, 61, (pictured together in 2001) for sexual assault
The ‘multiple rapes’ of Virginia Giuffre – now a mother of three formerly called Virginia Roberts– were said to have mainly taken place at Epstein’s home on the private island of Little Saint James, (pictured) in the US Virgin Islands
Virginia Giuffre said she was forced to sleep with the Duke of York after being trafficked to him at least three times when she was 17.
Prince Andrew has consistently denied the accusations levelled by Giuffre, telling the BBC in 2019: ‘I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady. None whatsoever.’
Giuffre has told the French she was routinely raped by Brunel between the ages of 16 and 19.
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.
Court documents unsealed in 2019 alleged Brunel flew 12-year-old sisters from a Paris housing estate to America as ‘a birthday present’ for Epstein.
Brunel’s lawyers, Marianne Abgrall and Mathias Chichportich, previously issued a statement saying: ‘Our client has always firmly asserted that he has never abused any woman.
‘This accusation, which arises almost twenty years later and without the slightest proof, is a new illustration of the media-judicial lynching suffered by Jean-Luc Brunel since the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein.’
Prince Andrew has consistently denied the accusations levelled by Giuffre, telling the BBC in 2019 (pictured): ‘I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady. None whatsoever’