Were the video cameras in the prison cell of Jean-Luc Brunel, a French modeling agent and former associate of pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, not working when Brunel was found dead in his cell? No, that's not true: A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice in France told Lead Stories that French prison cells very rarely contain video cameras.
The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) on February 21, 2022. The post has a screenshot of a tweet, which read in part:
BREAKING: Video cameras in cell where Epstein's alleged model-agent pimp Jean-Luc Brunel was found dead reportedly not working at the time.
This is what the post looked like on Facebook on February 25, 2022:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Feb 25 16:00 2022 UTC)
In an email sent to Lead Stories on February 24, 2022, Emmanuelle Masson, spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice in France, told us that video cameras are not installed in French prison cells, with one exception. The email read:
Il n'y a pas de caméras dans les cellules de prison en France (à une exception près pour un détenu terroriste).
Using Google Translate, we translated the email from French to English. The translation read:
There are no cameras in prison cells in France (with one exception for a terrorist inmate).
Brunel reportedly received financial backing from Epstein when starting his modeling agency MC2 Model Management. Officials reported that Brunel, who was arrested in December 2020 and was being investigated for rape and sex trafficking charges, appeared to have committed suicide by hanging in his prison cell following several other suicide attempts. He was found on February 19, 2022. The official autopsy for Epstein concluded that he also committed suicide by hanging in his prison cell in 2019.
Lead Stories previously debunked a social media post claiming that another one of Epstein's associates, Ghislaine Maxell, was pictured with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Maxwell's companion in that image was actually Brunel.