Gérard Depardieu, 72, has been charged with rape and sexual assault of a 22-year-old colleague.
His attorney, Hervé Temime, told AFP on Tuesday that the French actor, “completely rejects the accusations.”
The alleged sexual assault and rape took place at one of Depardieu’s homes in Paris on August 7 and August 13, 2018, while they were rehearsing a scene from a theatre play at his home in Paris.
“The actress told police she had been assaulted by the actor twice this month at Depardieu’s home in Paris.”
The accuser knew Depardieu before the alleged attacks took place. According to a source close to the case, he is a friend of her family.
Her agent to French digital news service BFMTV that she is “devastated” by the alleged attacks.
Depardieu’s attorney responded with the statement, “I had a long meeting with Gérard Depardieu and I am absolutely convinced that his innocence will be established.”
French prosecutors dropped the investigation in 2019
Investigations into the rape and sexual assault allegations against Gérard Depardieu were dropped by French prosecutors, who issued the following statement, “A number of investigations undertaken as part of this procedure have not enabled us to characterize the crimes alleged in all of their individual parts.”
The case was reopened last year and Depardieu was charged on December 16, 2020. He is currently free but under judicial supervision.
Depardieu claims to have “had plenty of rapes”
In an excerpt from a 1978 interview with Film Comment magazine, Depardieu admitted that he was a rapist:
“It was my pal Jackie – he was sixteen or seventeen – who took me along on my first rape.”
He pauses, then adds as an afterthought, “He’s dead now, Jackie.”
The incident occurred, Depardieu adds nonchalantly, in a bus depot; the girl, a brunette in her early twenties, was waiting for a bus when the teenager and the nine-year-old began teasing her.
“One thing led to another and, hup!!” – Depardieu suddenly rises halfway out of his chair, like an animal bounding after prey – “that was that.” He pauses. “It was normal. After that, I had plenty of rapes, too many to count.”
Depardieu returns to his chair and glances at the faces around him. He is surprised to note that they are registering something like horror.
“There was nothing wrong with it,” he explains. “The girls wanted to be raped. I mean, there’s really no such thing as rape. It’s only a matter of a girl putting herself in a situation where she wants to be. Violence isn’t committed by those who do the act but by the victims, the ones who permit it to happen.”
In a taped interview with Time Magazine, journalist Richard Corliss asked Depardieu if he had committed rapes, and he replied, “Yes, but it was absolutely normal in those circumstances. That was part of my childhood.”
Depardieu denied making the statements after the fact. Instead, he qualified his previous statements, saying, “It is perhaps accurate to say that I had sexual experiences at an early age. But rape – never. I respect women too much.”
The interview with Time was recorded in French and Depardieu’s lawyers argued that his statement was poorly translated, that he had not participated in but witnessed multiple rapes.
Time Magazine refused to retract the interview.
Who is Gérard Depardieu?
Gérard Depardieu is a lionized figure and widely regarded as one of the greatest actors in French cinema. He made his film debut in 1973 in the film Les Valseuses (Going Places).
The Oscar nominee has appeared in 170 films, including Green Card and Cyrano de Bergerac. However, he did not attend the Oscar’s ceremony due to public outrage over his admission of multiple rapes during his youth.
Editors (2021, February 23) ‘French actor Gérard Depardieu charged with rape.’ France 24. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
Zoglin, Richaed. (2001, June 24) L’Affaire Gérard Depardieu. Time Magazine. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
Mann, Judy. (1991, March 20) How Do We Handle The Rapist Turned Heartthrob? The Washington Post. Retrieved February 22, 2021.