Jeffrey Epstein’s death has not silenced his victims.
The prosecution of the disgraced billionaire might be over, but global investigations into his inner circle of alleged enablers are only just beginning.
Among the names most mentioned are Ghislaine Maxwell and Jean-Luc Brunel.
Ghislaine Maxwell’s friendship with Epstein goes back years, she was reportedly his girlfriend at one point. It’s also claimed she played a significant part in the recruitment of girls and young women.
Jean-Luc Brunel ran successful French model agencies with high profile names on his books. It’s alleged he also procured women for Epstein.
The pair haven’t been seen since Epstein killed himself on 10 August, while facing trial for sex trafficking.
They’ve gone to ground, but Sky News understands they’ve recently been in the Brazilian riviera.
Information gathered by a former US police officer, who was not paid or commissioned by Sky News, shows that Brunel’s phone was traced to the Infinity Blue Resort and Spa in Santa Catarina. It is an upmarket holiday area popular with wealthy tourists.
At the same time, Ghislaine Maxwell’s phone was also connected to a network in Santa Catarina state.
Sky News visited the hotel but by the time we arrived there was no sign of either Brunel or Maxwell.
Ghislaine Maxwell was last seen in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, in mid-August.
Brunel’s lawyer denies he is on the run, insisting he is willing to cooperate with investigations.
Yet there has been no sign of him since 5 July when he was pictured partying at the exclusive members-only Paris Country Club. He was a guest at the club’s Soiree Blanche where tables cost over £1000. This was his last public appearance.
Similarly, Ghislaine Maxwell hasn’t been seen for weeks.
She shut down her ocean protection TerraMar Project in the US on 12 July, just six days after Epstein’s arrest.
Sky News has learnt she has also formally started proceedings to shut the UK arm of the project too.
Companies House records show she signed off the closure on 13 August, three days after Epstein was found dead in his cell.
Maxwell and Brunel both enjoyed a lavish, luxury lifestyle, hanging out with huge names in politics, business and entertainment.
Since the death of Epstein questions have been asked about their role in his trafficking and abuse of young girls.
Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of disgraced newspaper tycoon, Robert Maxwell, has been named in a number of papers filed in the US.
Among them a case brought by Virginia Roberts, now known as Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
She claimed Maxwell had recruited her as an underage teenager, to have sex with Jeffrey Epstein.
Her case also mentioned Prince Andrew. She says she had sex with him on three separate occasions when she was seventeen years old.
A now infamous photo of Prince Andrew with his arm around her waist, shows Ghislaine Maxwell also in the shot. The image reportedly taken at Maxwell’s central London mews house.
A statement from Buckingham Palace strenuously denied “any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts”.
There has been much scrutiny of the Duke of York’s friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein and Maxwell were among the guests at a large royal birthday party at Windsor Castle. They were also invited to Sandringham, the Queen’s country retreat.
The Prince and Epstein were photographed holidaying together in Thailand, on board a private yacht surrounded by young women.
Even after Epstein was convicted of procuring a minor for prostitution and put on the sex offenders register, Prince Andrew continued seeing him.
They were photographed in 2010 walking in New York’s Central Park. And video recently emerged from the same time, of Prince Andrew looking out from the door of Epstein’s Manhattan mansion.
In a statement Prince Andrew said: “I have said previously that it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release in 2010 and I can only reiterate my regret that I was mistaken to think that what I thought I knew of him was evidently not the real person, given what we now know.
“This is a difficult time for everyone involved and I am at a loss to be able to understand or explain Mr Epstein’s lifestyle. I deplore the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in, or encourage any such behaviour.”
The FBI is investigating claims from Epstein’s alleged victims, which might include his links to Prince Andrew.
There are private cases underway too. Ghislaine Maxwell is named in a well-documented case brought by Jennifer Araoz.
Ms Araoz claims Epstein frequently masturbated in front of her and raped her. She’s suing Epstein’s estate and others including Ghislaine Maxwell.
She claims Maxwell was complicit in Epstein’s sex-trafficking. Lawyers acting for Ms Araoz say they’ve not yet been able to serve her with legal papers because they cannot find her.
They’ve hired private investigators to try to find her, but so far her location remains unknown.
Other women have made similar claims against Ghislaine Maxwell, alleging she recruited them and facilitated encounters with Epstein.
Meanwhile in Paris, preliminary investigations are also underway into Epstein and his associates, relating to the rape and sexual assault of women and girls aged under fifteen.
Prosecutors in France are trying to find out whether claims of sex-trafficking took place on French soil.
As part of the investigations, one of the model agencies which was founded by Jean-Luc Brunel was recently searched.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre claims Brunel offered girls modelling jobs in the US, but was actually recruiting them for Epstein.
Brunel, who has been accused of sexual assault in the past, has strongly denied any wrongdoing in his work as a model agent.
His lawyer says he would help any investigation but hasn’t yet been contacted.
The search for Jean-Luc Brunel and Ghislaine Maxwell is far from over.
Israel Folau: Disgraced rugby star links bushfires with Australia’s same-sex marriage laws | World News
Disgraced rugby star Israel Folau has linked bushfires in New South Wales and drought to Australia’s decision to legalise same-sex marriage and abortion.
The 30-year-old, who was delivering a sermon at the Truth of Jesus Christ Church in Sydney on Sunday, said “God is speaking” to Australians and called for the laws to be reversed.
His remarks come months after he was sacked by Rugby Australia and his club side for saying “hell awaits” homosexuals and other groups.
The former Australia international full back said during the sermon on Sunday: “I’m doing this out of love, for people to be able to hear this message and hopefully receive it with open hearts, that they may come to know the truth of his word.”
He continued: “I just want to see the events that have happened here in Australia in the last couple of years.
“God’s word says for a man and a woman to be together, one man and one woman in the covenant of marriage to be together.
“Abortion; it’s now OK to murder and kill unborn children and they deem that to be OK.”
More than 470 homes have been lost and six people have died as bushfires rage across the east coast of Australia.
Folau added in his sermon: “Look how rapid these bushfires, these droughts, all these things that come in a short period of time.
“You think it’s a coincidence or not?
“God is speaking to you guys. Australia you need to repent, take these laws and turn it back into following what is right by God.”
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison criticised the rugby star’s remarks on Monday.
He told reporters in Australia: “He’s a free citizen, he can say whatever he likes, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have regard to the grievous offence this would have caused to people whose homes have been burned down.”
Folau is fighting Rugby’s Australia’s decision to terminate his four-year contract.
<a href='https://news.sky.com/story/sky-views-evidence-is-a-strong-weapon-when-deployed-against-fake-news-11863240'>Evidence is a strong weapon when deployed against fake news</a>
Hong Kong police tear gas protesters as they try to leave scene of stand-off | World News
Police in Hong Kong have used tear gas to drive back dozens of protesters trying to leave a university campus.
Around 200 protesters have occupied Polytechnic University for days, even setting fire to the entrance in an effort to keep police out.
They fired arrows and catapulted petrol bombs at police who deployed tear gas and water cannon before entering the university in the early hours of Monday.
Sky’s Asia correspondent Tom Cheshire, who is inside the campus, said police had broken through some barricades but there was “layer after layer of defence”.
He said protesters had been trying to get out of the university because “they think there’s not a future here and the best thing they can do is chance it with the police”.
“There are running battles all around campus,” he added.
Police had earlier threatened to use live bullets if protesters remained at the campus.
However, dozens of protesters tried to leave after reassurances from the university’s president, who said police had agreed to suspend the use of force.
Jin-Guang Teng said he would accompany protesters to the police station to ensure their cases would be processed fairly.
He added: “I hope that you will accept the proposed temporary suspension of force and leave the campus in a peaceful manner.”
As some of the protesters tried to leave, police fired tear gas, forcing them back inside the campus.
One protester named Dan, 19, said: “We’ve been trapped here for too long.
“We need all Hong Kongers to know we need help.
“I don’t know how much longer we can go on like this. We may need international help.”
The violence seen over the past few days has been among the worst in six months of demonstrations, with 38 people injured on Sunday alone, the hospital authority said.
A police media liaison officer was treated in hospital after being hit in the leg with an arrow as the clashes spread across the central Kowloon district.
Police said the protesters’ activities had “escalated to rioting”, adding: “Rioters continue to launch hard objects and petrol bombs with large catapults at police officers.”
Sky’s Tom Cheshire said the university had been “fortified” by the protesters and was the only one still occupied by them.
Reporting from the scene, he said: “All day long, police have been getting closer and closer. They’ve sealed off every exit.
“The reason this is different now is that things feel more violent. The protesters have occupied the bridges and set fire to them. Massive explosions. We presume there were gas canisters in the fire.
“And police gave a deadline to protesters. They said, ‘If you are not out of here by 10pm we’re going to come in and we’re going to get you’.
“And now this whole place is on lockdown. Protesters aren’t allowed out and no one is allowed in. It feels a bit like the end game. That’s what protesters are telling us.”
On Saturday, dozens of Chinese troops, wearing shorts and T-shirts, picked up paving stones, rocks and other obstacles that had cluttered the street near another university.
The military is allowed to help maintain public order, but only at the request of the Hong Kong government.
The government said it had not asked for the military’s assistance, calling it a voluntary community activity. But their presence on the streets risks stoking tensions further.
The protests were sparked by proposed legislation that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to the mainland.
The bill has been withdrawn, but the protests have spread into a wider resistance movement against Beijing’s perceived growing control, along with calls for full democracy for the territory.
Meanwhile on Monday, Hong Kong’s high court struck down a face mask ban aimed at protesters trying to hide their identity to avoid arrest.
The court said that the ban infringes on fundamental rights more than is reasonably necessary for the furtherance of its goals.
The government used its emergency powers to impose the ban last month.
The court said it did not consider anti-mask laws unconstitutional in general, but in this case, the law infringed on fundamental rights further than was reasonably necessary.
World1 week ago
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on the advice that shaped his leadership
World5 days ago
Brexit to blame for building Tesla Gigafactory in Germany
Politics1 week ago
Rep. Himes accuses Republicans of a false equivalency between Trump, Biden on Ukraine
Politics7 days ago
Michael Bloomberg, billionaire and former mayor, prepares for a presidential bid
Latest News5 days ago
Clashes after opposition leader Jeanine Anez assumes Bolivian presidency | World News
Politics5 days ago
General election prediction: Polling guru outlines exactly how many seats Tories will gain
Politics6 days ago
Fmr. Gov. Deval Patrick reportedly considering 2020 run
World6 days ago
Abigail Disney responds to those offended by ‘OK, Boomer’