Gérard Depardieu, the fall of a Gallic god

For a time, we forgave everything the greatest contemporary actor in the country, real national pride. But the relationship between Gérard Depardieu and the French began to crack long before the rape accusations against him, writes The Times in London.

In his youth, to earn a little money, Gérard Depardieu smuggled cigarettes and whiskey with the soldiers of the American base of Châteauroux, where he grew up. According to his older brother, Alain, who spoke in a 2019 television interview, “He was a big thug, but he had a head. He knew where to stop ”.

Can the same be said today of the man who is, without doubt, the greatest contemporary French actor, but also the most controversial? We have indeed learned this week the indictment of Gérard Depardieu for rape and sexual assault on a 22-year-old actress.

This young woman, now 24 years old, claims to have been assaulted twice, on August 7 and 13, 2018, in the mansion at 50 million euros that the actor owns in Paris. Justice closed the case in 2019 for lack of evidence, before reopening it when the alleged victim became a civil party.

According to his lawyers, Gérard Depardieu, 72, is “mortified” by the prosecution, which he contests. But France is currently hit by a series of sex scandals in the world of cinema, literature, sport, politics and higher education, and the famous actor risks seeing his reputation, already on the decline, tarnish further.

When the French forgave Depardieu everything

If this period is now over for ten years, there was nevertheless a time when the French forgave Gérard Depardieu almost everything: his tipsy and vulgar appearances on television, the scandal unleashed in a plane when, prohibited from access to toilet during takeoff, he urinated in an empty bottle, or his fury when the director Jean-Paul Rappeneau pointed out to him that his strong build would prevent him from being credible in the role of Cyrano de Bergerac, a starving character.

See Also:  Five new plaintiffs denounce an alleged sexual predator | Justice and various facts | News | The gallery

“Large! You only have this word in your mouth

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