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French Epstein associate accused of sexual harassment

Jeffrey Epstein's appartment in the swanky 16th arrondissement of Paris.
Jeffrey Epstein's appartment in the swanky 16th arrondissement of Paris. Jacques Demarthon, AFP

A French modelling agent suspected of procuring young women for the disgraced US billionaire Jeffrey Epstein has been formally accused of sexual harassment, French judicial sources said Thursday.

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Confirming the complaint against Jean-Luc Brunel, one source told AFP that the Paris prosecutor's office had received a letter of complaint "involving actions defined as sexual harassment".

Officers leading the investigation into Epstein's activities in France will soon question the woman who filed the complaint, the source added.

Brunel, founder of Karin Models and MC2 Model Management, is accused in American court documents of rape and of obtaining young women for Epstein, who was found hanged in his New York jail cell on August 10 while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking.

In court documents, alleged victim Virginia Giuffre said she was forced by Epstein to sleep with several well-known politicians and businessmen, including Brunel.

In France, several former top models have come forward with allegations of rape against Brunel.

But according to a source close to the investigation, those alleged crimes date too far back to be prosecuted.

The sexual harassment complaint, by contrast, concerns an incident that took place after 2015, meaning Brunel could still be charged.

In a statement issued by his lawyer in early October, Brunel denied the "accusations reported by the press".

He also denied he was on the run from the law, saying he was ready to answer police questions.

Brunel, last spotted at a high-society function in early July, has not been seen in public since.

(AFP)

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