French prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged rape of minors at his Paris apartment.
Chief Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said in a statement that this investigation has been opened up due to “exchanges with American authorities, competent in the so-called Epstein affair.” The investigation has reportedly been opened to investigate Epstein’s illicit activities in France and the alleged abuse he committed against French citizens.
No details have been provided as to what specifically prosecutors are investigating, but Epstein is known to have several connections in France. His friend and suspected accomplice, Jean Luc-Brunel, allegedly gifted Epstein three French 12-year-old girls for his birthday one year. Brunel, a model scout who founded MC2 Model Management, appeared in both Epstein’s flight logs and his little black book of elite contacts.
“He went on to tell me how Brunel bought them in Paris from their parents, offering them the usual sums of money, visas, and modeling career prospects,” said Virginia Giuffre in a 2015 statement. “Jeffrey Epstein has told me that he has slept with over 1,000 of Brunel’s girls, and everything that I have seen confirms this claim.”
Brunel, 72, has also been accused of raping and drugging underaged girls. He has denied such allegations in the past.
“I strongly deny having committed any illicit act or any wrongdoing in the course of my work as a scouter or model agencies manager,” he said.in 2015. “I have exercised with the utmost ethical standard for almost 40 years.”
Aside from Epstein’s apartment in Paris and his relationship with Brunel, Epstein’s long-time friend and alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, has long-standing ties in the South of France, where she was born. Several members of Maxwell’s family also have homes there, including her older sister, Christine Malina-Maxwell, who is married to the son of rocket scientist Frank Malina, one of the U.S.’s top scientists at the Jet Propulsion Lab. When asked if he knew anyone with the last name of Malina or Ghislaine Maxwell, one of Malina-Maxwell’s neighbors laughed and told a reporter: “Maybe they’re all there.”
It has been reported that Maxwell, who many have orchestrated the faked pictures taken of her at an In-N-Out in Los Angeles, may be lying low in France. Whether Brunel or Maxwell are officially being targeted in this investigation is unknown.
[Image via Mugshot]