Since December 16, Gérard Depardieu has been officially indicted. The monument of French cinema is accused of “Rapes” and “Sexual assault”, facts he would have committed in the summer of 2018 on a young actress and that he disputes, AFP learned on Tuesday.
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. During an interrogation on December 16, the magistrate considered that there were “serious or concordant indications” that the monument of the French cinema, now 72 years old, may have committed the facts denounced and therefore has indicted. This new status gives Gérard Depardieu the possibility of actively defending himself during the proceedings but poses the threat of a possible lawsuit against him.
Gérard Depardieu’s lawyer, Maître Hervé Témime, “Deplored that this information is made public”. The actor, who was left free without judicial review, “Totally disputes the facts with which he is accused”, his advice said. The complainant’s lawyer, Me Elodie Tuaillon-Hibon, asked that “The privacy and privacy of [sa] client are preserved ”.
“There was absolutely nothing professional about it”
The actress in her twenties had initially lodged a complaint by going to the gendarmerie in Lambesc (Bouches-du-Rhône) at the end of August 2018. On the report, she accused the actor of two rapes and assaults sexual acts which would have taken place at the Parisian home of the star, 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, while the press had mentioned a theater rehearsal.
The legal proceedings opened in Aix-en-Provence against the French actor, also a Russian citizen since 2013, had been repatriated to Paris. On June 4, 2019, the public prosecutor had, however, dismissed his nine months of preliminary investigation: “The many investigations carried out” had “Not allowed to characterize the offenses denounced in all their constituent elements”, had justified the prosecution.
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, said a source familiar with the matter. 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. It is this option which also made it possible to reopen the investigations for rape against the director Luc Besson or the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin.