French Actor Gerard Depardieu Charged With Rape, Sexual Assault

The international star, who crossed over to Hollywood in the 1990s with the romantic comedy "Green Card," was first accused in 2018 by an unnamed actress.

Gerard Depardieu G

French actor Gerard Depardieu has been charged with rape in relation to a 2018 investigation that was recently reopened.

Depardieu, 72, was actually charged in December with rape and sexual assault, but news of the charges has only recently been made public; the Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed the charges on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports. Depardieu was not taken into custody at the time.

The charges stem from allegations made by an unnamed female actor in 2018, the AP reports, citing French outlets. The actor, who was in her 20s when the alleged events took place, said that she first met Depardieu when he taught a class at her school and that he later assaulted her on two separate occasions — August 7 and August 13, 2018 — when she visited his home in Paris. The actor filed a complaint on August 27 and her case was transferred to Paris prosecutors on August 29, according to a CNN report.

Depardieu denied any wrongdoing shortly after news of the allegations were first made public, with his lawyer telling French outlet BFMTV that he was “shocked” by the claims and that he “totally denies any assault, any rape, and any criminal act,” CNN reports.

The 2018 case was dropped less than a year later, with authorities citing a lack of evidence, according to The Guardian. However, the case was reopened after the actress refiled her complaint.

Depardieu, who now lives in Russia, was extradited to France for the indictment, Entertainment Weekly reports. In light of the new charges, he has continued to deny the claims against him. In a statement to EW, his lawyer, Hervé Temime, reminded the public that his client is “presumed innocent” until proven otherwise and said that it was “regrettable” that news of the case had been leaked.

"He strongly contests the accusations against him. The investigation must continue in calm, secrecy, and respect for Mr. Depardieu's presumption of innocence," Temime said.

The actor involved with the case has not spoken publicly on it, with her attorney telling The Hollywood Reporter that they hope their client’s privacy will be respected.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Depardieu has found success both in his home country of France and abroad. He first made a name for himself among American audiences with the 1990 film “Green Card,” which landed him a Golden Globe award for best actor. He went on to appear in films like “Cyrano de Bergerac” and “The Man In The Iron Mask.”

Following a high-profile dispute with French officials regarding his taxes, Depardieu forfeited his French passport in 2012, according to the BBC. Vladimir Putin granted him Russian citizenship not long after.

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