Model agent Jean-Luc Brunel, who was held in custody in Paris in connection with the Epstein affair, has been found dead.

This was reported by the AFP news agency on Saturday.

The French judiciary had initiated investigations into the rape of minors and sexual assault against the agent.

The 76-year-old had been in custody for over a year.

As the newspaper "Le Parisien" reported with reference to legal circles, Brunel was discovered hanged in his cell on Saturday night.

Brunel was also suspected of contacting and organizing young girls for American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

As early as summer 2019, the public prosecutor's office had initiated investigations against Brunel and searched his Paris model agency.

Close confidante of Epstein

Epstein, who was convicted of sexual encounters with a minor in 2008 and committed suicide in a prison cell after further rape allegations in 2019, has been accused of building a sex trafficking ring with accomplices.

Epstein owned a luxury apartment in Paris near the Champs-Elysées.

Brunel, who was one of Epstein's close confidants, was arrested at Paris Charles-de-Gaulle Airport in December 2020 as he was about to leave the country.

Most recently, a court in the United States found Epstein's ex-partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, guilty at the end of December.

As an aide to Epstein, Maxwell played a central role in building his ring for the sexual abuse of young girls, the jury in New York decided.

The 60-year-old faces several decades in prison.

The sentencing is scheduled for June 28th.

Her lawyers have meanwhile requested a retrial of the trial.