Actor Gerard Depardieu loses bid to have rape and sexual assault charge dropped

10 March 2022, 16:08

Gérard Depardieu
Actor Gerard Depardieu charged with rape and sexual assault, say French court. Picture: Alamy

By Liam Gould

Actor Gerard Depardieu will be charged with rape and sexual assault after a French court dismissed a bid to have the charges dropped.

The French actor, 73, was charged with raping and sexually assaulting a French actress at his home in Paris.

Mr Depardieu has called the allegations against him "baseless" despite the Paris Court of Appeal saying it won’t be dropping Depardieu’s case.

Paris chief prosecutor Remy Heitz said in a statement that there was "serious and confirmed evidence that justifies Gerard Depardieu to remain charged".

The actress filed her complaint to the police in 2018 a few days after she says he had raped her twice at his home.

The case was dropped in 2019 due to a lack of evidence, and was later reopened in 2020.

The actress later came out and revealed her identity on Twitter in 2020. She tweeted: "I am Depardieu's victim. He was charged one year ago. He is working, while all I am doing is trying to survive."

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The actor is said to have known the victim since she was a child, and the incident took place when she was 22.

Mr Depardieu was charged in late 2020, and was kept under supervision. He was not jailed.

The veteran actor rose to fame during the 1980s, with notable roles in French films 'The Last Metro', 'Police', and 'Cyrano de Bergrac'.

The latter saw him win the award for Best Actor at Cannes film festival in 1990, and later receive a nomination for Best Leading Actor at the Academy Awards.

He later starred in Peter Weir's 'Green Card' in 1991, his first Hollywood film. He went on to feature in Kenneth Branagh's 'Hamlet', Ang Lee's 'Life of Pi' and in the Netflix series, 'Marseille'.

The actor starred in “Lost Illusions,” which went on to win seven Cesar Awards. He is currently starring in two films in France, including 'Robust' where he plays a fading actor who has a relationship with a young female security guard.

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Mr Depardieu is a known friend of Russian president Vladimir Putin, but has openly condemned the invasion of Ukraine.

He said: "I am against this fratricidal war. I say 'stop the weapons and negotiate'."

Mr Depardieu's lawyer Herve Temime has yet to make a comment. The case will now return to the prosecuting magistrate, as per the judicial statement.