Brunel, who worked as a French modeling agent, is accused of engaging in sexual activities with multiple women aged between 15 and 18, with one victim claiming he also trafficked her to Prince Andrew, according to Daily Mail.
The 74-year-old, who has denied any wrongdoing since his arrest, was detained by police at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport on Wednesday, December 16, while preparing to board a flight out to Senegal.
Sources say Brunel was desperate to leave France and head to Africa to keep a low-profile, which strongly indicates that he was aware of potentially being questioned for his former ties with Epstein.
Court documents claim that Brunel promised the underage girls modeling contracts with his firm while flying them from France to the U.S., where they were greeted by Epstein and his inner circle of friends.
Virginia Giuffre alleges that she was forced into having sex with Brunel before finding herself caught up in an ongoing sex-trafficking ordeal with Epstein and his closest pals.
Brunel’s arrest comes on the heels of an extensive investigation being performed by French prosecutors into multiple sexual assault allegations against Epstein, focused on crimes that were committed against French victims.
Just last year, police had raided Karin Models offices and a flat owned by Epstein in Paris in what appeared to be the start of a lengthy inquiry to the wrongdoings Brunel and his former associate have been accused of.
In 2019, a former Canadian model, who preferred not to be named, shared details of her horrific encounter with Brunel in an exclusive interview with CBS News, recalling how the latter had spiked her spring and raped her in his apartment in 1987.
Following the news of his arrest, she told the publication: “I’m crying tears of joy. I’m still crying – it has brought it all back again, but they are tears of joy. I hope this time justice will be done – I hope he doesn’t get away with it.”
“I’m just very happy — I feel that finally someone is listening to us.”
She had told the publication last year that during a brief chat with Brunel in 1987, she agreed to go back to his apartment, where she says he spiked her drink and raped her.
“He came over and said, ‘do you want a drink?’ and I was like, ‘Sure, why not?’ And then I don’t remember anything. He had drugged my drink.
“The next thing I remember is waking up in his bed. He was beside me, and he was sleeping and naked, and I was wondering how I got there. And I remember sliding out of the bed and doing everything to just not wake him up.”
At least five other women have accused Brunel of sexual harassment, rape, and assault.