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Actor Gerard Depardieu charged with rape and sexual assault

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The Paris prosecutor’s office said French actor Gérard Depardieu was charged with rape and sexual assault after authorities re-launched a 2018 investigation that was initially dropped.

The office told The Associated Press he was not being held when it received the preliminary charges on December 16.

The Paris prosecutor’s office looked into the charges after the case was leaked to French media.

Media said the charges relate to allegations by an actress in her twenties dating back to 2018. An initial investigation against the star was dropped in 2019 due to lack of evidence, but was later relaunched.

French newspaper Le Parisien and BFM TV said the actress and dancer alleged that Depardieu assaulted her on August 7 and 13, 2018 at her home in Paris. The two met when Depardieu led a master class at his school, BFM TV reported.

Gérard Depardieu
French actor Gérard Depardieu has been charged with rape and sexual assault. Credit: EPA

The actress, who has not been named, first filed a complaint with details of allegations of rape and assault in August 2018 in the city of Aix-en-Provence, in the south of France. The investigation was taken up by Parisian investigators, but was quickly abandoned.

Depardieus lawyer Hervé Temime was not immediately available for comment, but he previously said the actor absolutely denies any rape, any sexual assault, any crime.

Depardieu is one of the best known and most controversial stars in France.

He has appeared in 200 films over six decades and is one of the few French actors who have made a name for themselves in Hollywood. He won a Golden Globe for his performance in Green Card, a 1990 English-language romantic comedy starring Andie MacDowell.

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