French actor Gérard Depardieu has been formally investigated for rape and sexual assault allegedly committed in 2018, a judicial source told TBEN on Tuesday. The French daily Le Monde also cited an anonymous judicial source confirming the TBEN account.
A first investigation into rape charges against Depardieu, 72, was dropped in 2019 for lack of evidence but reopened last summer, leading to a formal investigation opened on December 16, the source said.
The alleged victim is an actress in her twenties. She accuses Depardieu of having raped and assaulted her in her Parisian home in August 2018. Depardieu is a friend of the family, a source familiar with the matter told TBEN.
The woman’s lawyer, Élodie Tuaillon-Hibon, said she hoped “her client’s privacy will be respected” as the case unfolds.
Depardieu’s lawyer, Hervé Temime, told TBEN that he “completely rejects the charges” and that he remains free but under judicial supervision.
Depardieu lost an Oscar in 1991 for his performance in “Cyrano de Bergerac” after an outcry over an interview with Time magazine in which he claimed to have witnessed numerous rapes during his very poor childhood.
“I say a lot of stupid things,” the actor said later, trying to limit the damage.
A poor translation of one of his quotes also incorrectly suggested that he participated in a rape when he was only 9 years old.
In 2005, while shopping with a young woman in Florence, Depardieu got into trouble for headbutting a journalist taking pictures of the couple. Dario Orlandi said the actor waved at him before punching him in the face.
The actor skipped a hearing, but was found guilty and fined € 800.
Depardieu made world headlines in 2011 when, on a Dublin-Paris flight, a flight attendant barred him from entering the toilet during take-off. Apparently unable to restrain himself, he urinated into an empty bottle in the aisle, causing a spill on the carpet when the bottle overflowed.
Takeoff was aborted and Depardieu was escorted out of the plane. “I’m not a monster,” he later said on an American talk show. “I’m just a man who wants to pee.”
The actor sparked an uproar a few years later by taking Russian nationality in 2013 to protest against a proposed French tax on the rich.
President Vladimir Putin offered him a dinner to introduce him to his new citizenship and Depardieu was gushing his praise to the Russian leader. “The Russian nation needs a person like this – with a Russian temperament. Putin is trying to restore some dignity to the people.”
(TBEN with TBEN)