(NewsNation Now) – Two former models related to a friend of Jeffrey Epstein said they had a hard time finding reasons to sympathize with his death.
Jean-Luc Brunel, a French modeling agent who was close to Epstein, was found dead Saturday in his French prison cell. He was detained there as part of an investigation into the rape of minors and trafficking in minors for the purpose of sexual exploitation, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office.
Former model Zoe Brock, who was sent to live with Brunel at the age of 17 to begin her modeling career, said she was not particularly upset to learn of his death.
“I was not bored. I wasn’t thrilled. But I felt, “Oh, good,” Brock said.
She said she was told that Brunel’s house would be “the safest place” for her because Brunel was not there at the time. But that all changed when he returned from his travels.
“He told me pretty quickly – within the first six hours of his return – that I had to have sex with him, and gave me drugs,” Brock said.
When she refused, she faced revenge and was sent away.
“As soon as I managed to avoid him, and it became clear to him that I was not going to obey and it would not be easy for me, I was removed and sent to a really bad place, and my reputation was slandered in Europe,” Brock said. “And unfortunately, I left behind another underage girl who didn’t come forward, and I know she did very poorly.”
Lorin Cole, another former model who lived in New York at the time, said she had a similar experience when she abandoned Brunel when she was in a relationship, and was “thrilled” by his death.
“It got ridiculous,” she said. “And then one day he just grabbed the phone. And he said, “Miss Cole, if you don’t get off your high horse and come with me to dinner, you won’t get any work.”
Cole hopes the revelations about Epstein and Brunel will serve as a warning to other predators.
“I’m glad he’s gone,” she said. “And I think that’s an example. And I think others will think twice before moving forward with such behavior. That should stop. “
Paris police are investigating Brunel’s death, prosecutors said. The circumstances of his death have not been made public, and Brunel’s lawyers have not commented on it.
Brunel denied the wrongdoing and through his lawyer said he was ready to talk to the investigation. Brunel’s legal team has repeatedly complained about the conditions of his detention and demanded his release in court.
Brunel, who was about 70, was detained at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport in 2020 as part of a wide-ranging French investigation launched by the United States into Epstein’s allegations of human trafficking.
A frequent companion of Epstein, Brunel was considered central to the French investigation into the alleged sexual exploitation of women and girls by American financiers and his entourage. Epstein often traveled to France and had apartments in Paris.
Several women, who identified themselves as victims, have spoken to police since a French investigation was launched in 2019, and have sometimes expressed disappointment with the slow pace of the investigation.