Gerard Depardieu: French actor charged with rape and sexual assault after dropped investigation is revived
23 February 2021, 19:41 | Updated: 23 February 2021, 20:49
French actor Gerard Depardieu has been charged with rape and sexual assault after authorities revived a 2018 investigation that was dropped, the Paris prosecutor's office said.
The office said Depardieu was not detained when he was handed the preliminary charges on 16 December last year.
The Paris prosecutor's office has addressed the charges after the case was leaked to French media.
Reports in the country say the charges relate to allegations made by an actress in her 20s that date back to 2018.
An initial inquiry against the movie star was dropped in 2019 because of lack of evidence, but was later revived.
French newspaper Le Parisien and BFM TV said the actress and dancer alleged Depardieu assaulted her in August 2018 at his Paris home.
The actress, who has not been named, first filed a complaint with details of alleged rape and assault in August 2018 in the southern French city of Aix-en-Provence.
The probe was take over by Paris investigators, but was soon dropped.
Depardieu's lawyer Herve Temime was not immediately available for comment, but he has previously said that the actor "absolutely denies any rape, any sexual assault, any crime".
Depardieu is among France's most well-known stars.
He has appeared in 200 films over six decades and is among a 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.
His first big hit in France was Les Valseuses (Going Places), Bertrand Blier's classic farce about two wandering thugs.
Before crossing the Atlantic, Depardieu played an array of roles ranging from Jean Valjean, the thief-turned-saint in Les Miserables, to Christopher Columbus.