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French actor Gérard Depardieu accused of rape in revived case

PARIS – The Paris prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday that French actor Gérard Depardieu was charged in December with rape and sexual assault after authorities revived a 2018 investigation that was initially dropped.

The office told The Associated Press that Depardieu was not being held when he received the preliminary charges on December 16.

The prosecutor’s office addressed the charges after the case leaked to French media.

French media said the charges related to allegations made by an actress in her twenties on that date until 2018. An initial investigation against the star was dropped in 2019 due to lack of evidence, but was subsequently revived.

French newspaper Le Parisien and broadcaster BFM TV said the woman alleged that Depardieu assaulted her on August 7 and 13, 2018 at her home in Paris. The two met when Depardieu led a master class at his school, BFM TV reported.

The actress, who has not been named, first filed a complaint with details of alleged rapes and assaults in August 2018 in the city of Aix-en-Provence, in southern France. The investigation was taken up by Parisian investigators, but was quickly abandoned.

Depardieu’s lawyer Hervé Temime was not immediately available for comment, but he previously said the actor “absolutely denies any rape, any sexual assault, any crime.”

Depardieu, 72, is one of France’s best known and most controversial stars.

He has appeared in 200 films over six decades and is one of the few French actors who have made a name for themselves in Hollywood. He won a Golden Globe for his performance in “Green Card,” a 1990 English-language romantic comedy starring Andie MacDowell.

His first big success in France was “Les Valseuses” (“Going Places”), Bertrand Blier’s classic farce about two wandering thugs.

Before crossing the Atlantic to play in “Green Card”, Depardieu played a variety of roles, ranging from Jean Valjean, the thief turned saint in “Les Misérables”, to Christopher Columbus.

In 2014, he starred in “Welcome to New York”, the film based on the life of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former director of the International Monetary Fund who was accused in 2011 of sexually assaulting a woman. of hotel room.

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