He partied with Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio and had such a penchant for brightly colored clothing and shoes that his friends and business associates often joked that he was color blind.
But famed modeling scout Jean-Luc Brunel’s apparent suicide Saturday marked the end of his stunning fall from grace, in which he was accused of providing minors to his billionaire pedophile pal Jeffrey Epstein.
Former business associates contacted by The Post on Saturday said they were shocked by his death in his Parisian prison cell, where he was awaiting trial on rape and sex-trafficking charges.
Once celebrated for his talent for spotting the next top model, he was described as a “brilliant” scout with good international connections and a “great reputation.”
In a career that spanned more than 40 years, he discovered some of the biggest names in modeling and Hollywood, including Milla Jovovich, Sharon Stone, Monica Bellucci, Christy Turlington, Emma Heming and Angie Everhart.
Brunel, 74, co-founded Karin Models in Paris in 1977, turning the modeling agency into one of the most prestigious talent companies in the world.
Brunel, who was also described as a lecherous rogue who preyed on young women, was found hanged by his bedsheets, alone in his cell at Paris’ notorious Santé prison.
Brunel had been in jail being placed under formal investigation in 2020, accused of sexual harassment and the rape of girls aged between 15 and 18 in France.
US prosecutors also alleged that Brunel procured girls for Epstein, flying them from France to the States with the promise they could get modeling contracts. In French modeling circles, he is known as “Jean Cul” or Jean the Ass.
“He was a coked-out misogynistic pig from day one,” said an American modeling agency executive who has worked at the top levels of IMG and Ford in Paris for 35 years. “He was ridiculously high on coke when I interviewed him and totally despicable. He wanted to hire me but I said no. But some of the girls he got as models — he got them so early and ruined their lives. So tragic.”
Brunel met Epstein through convicted sex-trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell. He later partnered with Epstein in 2004 on MC2 Model Management, which had offices in Miami and New York. The company was disbanded in 2019, the same year he helped start up The Identity Models in New York.
Brunel was born into a wealthy family in Paris two years after the end of World War II. His father was a successful realtor who amassed a sizable fortune.
Brunel’s brother, Arnaud Brunel, is a businessman who is regularly featured in society columns.