Depardieu Faces New Legal Trouble

Famed French actor is reportedly in custody over sexual assault allegations
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 29, 2024 10:10 AM CDT
Depardieu Faces New Legal Trouble
Actor Gerard Depardieu is seen at a press conference in Berlin on Feb. 19, 2016.   (AP Photo/Axel Schmidt, File)

French media are reporting that actor Gerard Depardieu is in police custody for questioning about allegations made by two women that he sexually assaulted them on movie sets. Broadcaster BFMTV and the daily Le Parisien reported that the 75-year-old actor was summoned Monday morning by Paris police and placed in custody, reports the AP. The Paris police force said it wasn't authorized to comment and directed questions to the Paris prosecutor's office. The prosecutor's office said it had no comment "at this stage." One of Depardieu's lawyers, Christian Saint-Palais, was seen walking into a police station in the 14th district of Paris after lunching Monday at a nearby restaurant. He had no comment.

Depardieu has denied wrongdoing. In an open letter last October, he said: "I have never, ever abused a woman." BFMTV and Le Parisien reported that the police summons relates to accusations of sexual assault filed by two women who accuse him of groping during filming—one in 2014, the other in 2021. The alleged 2014 assault was reported to police in January this year, Le Parisien reported. The other alleged assault involved a 53-year-old movie decorator. She alleged that Depardieu grabbed her and kneaded her waist, stomach, and breasts during filming for Les Volets Verts, or The Green Shutters, according to the woman's lawyer, Carine Durrieu Diebolt, when she filed the complaint in February.

Depardieu has also been accused by more than a dozen other women of harassing, groping, or sexually assaulting them. He was handed preliminary rape and sexual assault charges in 2020 following allegations from actor Charlotte Arnould. Depardieu was long seen as a national icon in France. He has been a global ambassador for French film and enjoyed international fame with several roles in Hollywood. More on Depardieu's accusations and antics here. (More Gerard Depardieu stories.)

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