French actor Gerard Depardieu charged with rape

French actor Gerard Depardieu charged with rape

Depardieu, 69, is France's biggest international star and has made more than 180 films
Gerard Depardieu is France's biggest international star and has made more than 180 films. (File photo: AFP/Thierry Roge)

PARIS: French actor Gerard Depardieu has been charged with rape and sexual assault allegedly committed in 2018 against an actress in her 20s, a judicial source told AFP on Tuesday (Feb 23).

An initial investigation into the rape accusations against Depardieu, 72, was dropped in 2019 for lack of evidence but reopened last summer, leading to criminal charges filed in December, the source said.

The actress accuses Depardieu of having raped and assaulted her at his Parisian home in August 2018.

READ: Prosecutors ask for Depardieu rape case to be reopened

Depardieu's lawyer, Herve Temime, told AFP that the actor, who is free but under judicial supervision, "completely rejects the accusations".

According to a source close to the case, Depardieu is a friend of the actress' family.

Some reports have suggested Depardieu and the actress were rehearsing a scene of a theatre play, but the source said "there was nothing professional about the encounter".

The woman's lawyer, Elodie Tuaillon-Hibon, told AFP that she hoped her client's "private sphere will be respected" as the case unfolds.

Source: AFP/kg

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