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Depardieu to be tried for alleged sexual assault in October

April 29, 2024

The Paris prosecutor said French cinema star Gerard Depardieu will stand trial over allegations of sexual misconduct on a film set in 2021. Depardieu says he's being unfairly targeted.

Gerard Depardieu, pictured at a January, 2023 premiere.
Depardieu has faced several allegations in recent years, and he says he's also faced a 'media lynching' in that timeImage: ABB/picture alliance

Movie star Gerard Depardieu will be tried in October for alleged sexual assaults against two women in 2021, the Paris prosecutor said Monday.

The announcement came after police questioned the 75-year-old for much of the day. His lawyer Christian Saint-Palais told reporters that the actor had been released without charge.

The public prosecutor said in a statement the actor would face trial over the assaults allegedly committed in September 2021 on the set of the film "The Green Shutters."

Depardieu has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Cinema mainstay, no stranger to controversy

Depardieu has faced several sexual misconduct allegations in recent years and is subject to an ongoing rape investigation where he proclaims his innocence, with those charges first made in 2020. 

He's said his treatment in domestic media in recent years amounted to a "lynching," and has also found some support for this stance in France

Depardieu, 75, is perhaps the most recognizable male face of his generation in French cinema. Some of his most famous roles include playing Asterix's bulky sidekick Obelix, "Jean de Florette" in a French cinema classic double header, and Cyrano de Bergerac, a 1991 role for which he was even nominated for the Best Actor Oscar despite it being in a language other than English.

He's also been no stranger to controversy in recent years. 

Just over a decade ago, complaining among other things about tax rates for high earners being introduced by then-President Francois Hollande, Depardieu obtained Russian citizenship. 

In 2015, his comments on Russia's annexation of Crimea led to Ukraine's government blacklisting him. 

And in December, comments he'd made about women during a 2018 visit to North Korea deemed vulgar by some came to light and prompted renewed public scrutiny. 

msh/nm (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)