Prolific French actor Gérard Depardieu was arrested and charged with rape after allegedly attacking a young actress at his home in Paris in 2018, AFP reported Tuesday.
Depardieu was charged with rape and sexual assault, a judicial source told the French news agency, but has not been jailed, though he is under judicial supervision and must check in with authorities regularly.
Le Parisien reported in 2018 Depardieu had taken the young actress in her twenties “under his wing,” and acted as a career mentor, only to assault her on two ocassions at his home in French capital.
The identity of the woman has not been released by French authorities, but her lawyer Elodie Tuaillon-Hibon told AFP she hopes her client’s privacy will be respected as the case moves forward.
Depardieu has acted in hundreds of films over his decades-long career in French cinema, but is also well known for his bizarre offscreen behavior. In 1991, he gave a troubling interview to Time magazine in which he claimed to have witnessed many rapes as a child. According to AFP, a mistranslation made it appear Depardieu even hinted at taking part in one himself at age 9. Depardieu is the latest in a string of powerful French men to be accused of sexual misconduct in the wake of the #MeToo movement, though the movement’s ramifications in France have been far less groundbreaking compared to in the U.S. Well-known legal scholar Olivier Duhamel was accused last month by his stepdaughter of sexually assaulting her twin brother, starting when he was around 14 years old. In 2019, a nine-month investigation into allegations of sexual assault committed by French film director Luc Besson was closed over a lack of evidence.
Sex-Abuse Accusations Roil French Establishment (Wall Street Journal)