French actor Gérard Depardieu indicted for “rapes”

Gérard Depardieu, monument of French cinema, was indicted in December for “rape” and “sexual assault” which would date from the summer of 2018 on a young actress, which he disputes.

The complainant had obtained in August 2020 that this investigation, first closed by the Paris prosecutor’s office in June 2019, be relaunched and entrusted to an investigating judge.

• Read also: Depardieu seen in Pyongyang

• Read also: Gérard Depardieu targeted by an investigation for rapes

During an interrogation on December 16, the magistrate considered that there were “serious or consistent indications” that the actor may have committed the facts denounced and therefore indicted him for “rape” and “sexual assault. “AFP learned Tuesday from a source close to the case, confirmed by a judicial source.

The actor’s lawyer, Me Hervé Témime, contacted by AFP, “deplored that this information was made public.”

Gérard Depardieu, 72, who was left free without judicial review, “totally disputes the facts with which he is accused”, said his lawyer.

The young actress of twenty years had filed a complaint shortly after the facts.

She accused the actor of two rapes and sexual assaults which allegedly took place at the star’s Parisian home, a private mansion in the 6th arrondissement, on August 7 and 13, 2018.

According to a source familiar with the matter, the actor is a friend of the victim’s family. “There was absolutely nothing professional about it,” said this source, when the press had initially mentioned a theater rehearsal.

On June 4, 2019, the public prosecutor had, however, dismissed its nine months of preliminary investigation, explaining that “the numerous investigations carried out” had “not made it possible to characterize the offenses denounced in all their constituent elements”.

A confrontation between the actor and the young actress, never heard of so far, had notably taken place in the premises of the Paris judicial police, a source close to the file told AFP.

The complainant then obtained in mid-August 2020 the resumption of the investigation via a complaint with the constitution of civil party, an appeal which allows the almost automatic appointment of a judge to relaunch the investigations.

Contacted by AFP, the lawyer for the complainant, Me Elodie Tuaillon-Hibon, asked that “the privacy and privacy of (his) client be preserved”.

Revealed in 1974 in the “Valseuses” by Bertrand Blier, winner of a first César for Best Actor for “The Last Metro” by François Truffaut (1980), Gérard Depardieu has played multiple characters, including most of the great heroes of the national literature, from Cyrano de Bergerac to Jean Valjean des “Misérables”.

Father of four children, including actor Guillaume Depardieu who died in 2008, he has acquired immense international notoriety over the course of his career, despite his outings and slippages which have sometimes hit the headlines.

In addition to his film career, Gérard Depardieu leads other activities at the same time: winemaker, entrepreneur in gastronomy, he has also led a discreet career as a singer.

President Vladimir Putin granted him Russian citizenship in early 2013 and the actor converted to orthodoxy in 2020.

Gérard Depardieu is not the only personality of French cinema caught in the wave #MeToo, launched in the fall of 2017 with the revelation of the many rapes and sexual assaults committed on actresses by the American producer Harvey Weinstein.

Directors Christophe Ruggia and Luc Besson or the president of the National Cinema Center, Dominique Boutonnat, have been accused of sexual assault or rape.

Politics, media and sport have also been affected. The Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin, the Swiss Islamologist Tariq Ramadan, the former flagship presenter of the TF1 newscast Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, the model agent Jean-Luc Brunel or even the skating trainer Gilles Beyer are thus targeted by comparable charges.

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