Depardieu questioned about complaint of sexual assault


The French police took the legendary actor Gerard Depardieu in for questioning on Monday after two women accused him of sexual assault, a source with inside knowledge of the investigation said.

The 75-year-old actor, who has appeared in more than 200 films and TV series, was charged with rape in 2020 and had to put his career on hold last year as allegations of sexual harassment and assault piled up against him.

Police are expected to question Depardieu about two women’s allegations that he assaulted them; one on a film set in 2021 and the other during filming in 2014, a source said.

The actor’s legal representatives, Christian Saint-Palais and Beatrice Geissmann Achille, did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment.

The first woman to accuse him – in the latest incidents – of sexual assault was a crew member of the 2022 film The Green Shutters. She claims the incident happened during the filming of this movie. The set designer, who filed a formal complaint in February, told investigative website Mediapart that Depardieu grabbed her as she was leaving the set, located in a private hotel in Paris.

She claims the actor groped her “waist and stomach”, moved towards her breast area and made obscene comments before his bodyguards took him away.

The woman’s legal representative, Carine Durreu-Diebolt, did not want to provide any further details about the alleged incident.

The second woman has to the newspaper Le Courrier de l’Oust said Depardieu groped her “all over” and made “inappropriate” comments while she was an assistant on the set of the 2015 film Le magician et le Siamois (The Magician and the Siamese) wash.

Rape complaint

Depardieu is already facing a rape complaint, as well as allegations of assault from numerous women – complaints that he denies.

“I have never abused a woman,” Depardieu said in October Le Figaro writing.

Police charged Depardieu with rape and sexual assault in 2020 after actress Charlotte Arnould claimed the veteran actor raped her in 2018. She was 22 years old and suffered from anorexia.

Another complaint was filed last year by the actress Helene Darras. She claimed Depardieu groped her during filming in 2007 and made indecent propositions to her. This complaint has since been abandoned because it was time-barred.

The Spanish journalist and writer Rugh Baza said in December that she filed a complaint in Spain against Depardieu. She claims he raped her in Paris in 1995.

Despite the fact that the complaint was reported long after Depardieu could still be prosecuted for it, Baza nevertheless decided to do so, in the hope that it would “help other people” to do the same.

Actress Anouk Grinberg, one of Depardieu’s co-actors The Green Shuttersdescribed how she and others on the set were “subjected to his scurrilous nonsense from morning till night”.

“When filmmakers choose Depardieu for a film, they know they are choosing an aggressor,” she said.

Grinberg says the producers of The Green Shutters supposedly appointed someone to deal with cases of harassment, but this person is sitting idly by.

The French film industry has been rocked in recent months by allegations that it has played down sexism and sexual abuse for decades, with criticism that the arts have been used as a cover for abuse for too long.