Renowned French actor Gerard Depardieu (72) was charged with the rape and assault of an actress in her 20s on Tuesday.
The unnamed actress alleged that she was assaulted and raped by Gerard Depardieu on two separate occasions in his home in Paris in August 2018, reported by French newspaper Le Parisien and broadcaster BFM TV, reads The Independent. The first incident allegedly happened on August 7th and the second incident occurred on August 13th.
The actress then filed a complaint to the French police in the Southern French city of Aix-en-Provence.
However, the case was dropped in 2019, citing a lack of evidence. In the summer of 2020, the case was reopened and led to Depardieu’s criminal charges in December 2020. Depardieu was questioned by the magistrate on December 16th and charged after finding “serious and corroborated evidence”, reported by RTE. He was not detained but under judicial supervision.
Gerard Depardieu defense lawyer said that the actor “absolutely denies any rape, any sexual assault, any crime”, reads the Irish Mirror.
According to a source related to the case, Depardieu is a friend of the actress’s family, reported by RTE.
BFM TV reported that the actress met Gerard Depardieu when he taught a master’s class at her school, reported The Irish Examiner.
While being a well-known and prolific actor, Gerard Depardieu has also been involved in scandals involving various assaults, driving under the influence, and disorderly conduct involving urinating in a cabin on a flight.
In 2005, Depardieu attacked a paparazzi causing the man to become unconscious.
In 2011, Depardieu urinated in a Paris-Dublin flight cabin while it was preparing to take off, causing the plane to turn back.
In 2012, the actor assaulted a motorist in Central Paris, reported by RTE.
In late 2012, the controversial actor renounced his French citizenship by “giving his passport back” to protest against the French tax rates, reads RTE. He stayed in Belgium after his exile, reported France24, and became a citizen of Russia, personally signed by the President of Russia, Mr Vladimir Putin.
Since the prominence of the Me too movement in 2017, a dialogue about sexual abuse, sexual violence, rape and consent has started worldwide and in the French community. Many people are coming forward with their sexual assault and abuse experiences, including those citing prominent figures and authorities in the community.
The women’s lawyer told the media that she hoped her client’s “private sphere will be respected” amidst the unraveling of the case, reported by France24.