French actor Gérard Depardieu has been charged with the alleged rape and sexual assault of a 22-year-old actress at his Paris mansion in 2018, it was reported on Tuesday.
The Paris public prosecutor’s office opened a preliminary investigation in the summer of 2018 into the allegations against Depardieu but it was subsequently dropped for lack of evidence.
The investigation resumed last summer and Depardieu, 72, was indicted in December, a judicial source told AFP on Tuesday.
France’s most famous actor, Depardieu, is the latest high-profile figure to be accused of rape as movements against sexual abuse gather pace in the country.
The 22-year-old woman, actress and dancer according to French media, accuses her of having raped and assaulted her on several occasions in her Parisian mansion.
She lodged a complaint with a gendarmerie in Lambesc near Aix-en-Provence, in the south of France.
Depardieu’s lawyer, Hervé Temime, told AFP that the actor, free but under judicial supervision, “totally rejects the accusations”. He could not be reached immediately for comment.
She allegedly claimed that the events took place at the mansion of the icon of the screen – mansion – in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, on August 7 and 13.
According to a source close to the investigation, Depardieu is friends with the young woman’s father and had “taken her under his wing”, giving her tips to start her acting career.
She studied at a school where he taught. According to her agent, the actress was “destroyed” by the saga.
She allegedly alleged that he abused her during an “informal rehearsal” for a play. His lawyer was not available for comment.
Depardieu has appeared in around 170 films, including Jean de Florette, Green Card and Asterix and Obelix. He has been in trouble with the law in the past regarding drink driving.
The charges follow a string of sexual abuse accusations against high-profile figures in France, including politicians, actors and intellectuals.
Last week, a former French minister was convicted and jailed for gang rape and sexual assault on an employee for the first time in the history of modern France.
The past few months have seen the emergence of #MeTooIncest, #MeTooGay, in which survivors shared their stories of abuse as children and gay men, respectively.
Dozens of students from the prestigious French university of Sciences Po also shared stories of harassment, assault and rape under the hashtag #SciencesPorcs.
Many allegations were triggered by the publication of a book earlier this year, La Familia Grande, in which author Camille Kouchner accused a leading political scientist and commentator, Olivier Duhamel, of sexually abusing a loved one at the time. that he was a minor.
The director of Science Po, Frédéric Mion, resigned after criticizing his handling of the scandal after he was informed of the accusations against Mr. Duhamel, former head of the organization that runs the university, in 2018.
An investigation into the rape accusations against Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has also been reopened.