A woman in her early 20s has accused 69-year old Gerard Depardieu of rape on two occasions. The first allegedly occurred on August 6th, and then the second on August 13th of this year. Depardieu denies all allegations. French officials have announced that an investigation has been launched after the unnamed woman told police that she was raped by Depardieu in his home in Paris. The woman was reportedly getting professional guidance for work on an upcoming play from the actor when the incidents occurred.
Gerard Depardieu's lawyer, Herve Temime, says that his client strongly denies the sexual assault allegations and states that his client, "is shaken by this complaint... and is absolutely contesting any assault, rape, or any criminal act." Depardieu is the second French film industry member to be accused of sexual assault in the past several months. Director Luc Besson is still under investigation for allegedly raping actress Sand Van Roy. The news follows the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which broke nearly a year ago and saw many women coming forward with stories of sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry. As a result, the #MeToo and Time's Up movements started and have helped bring awareness to and stop sexual misconduct in Hollywood.
Gerard Depardieu has been in the headlines lately for other actions. His relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin is highly controversial. Putin has offered the actor a Russian passport, much like he did for American action movie star Steven Seagal, who has also been accused of sexual assault by numerous women over the years. Seagal is currently on a special mission to help strained relations between the United States and Russia. It should be noted that this is the first time that Depardieu has been accused of sexual misconduct, though he did once urinate in the aisle of a plane in front of passengers. He later blamed the incident on his prostate, noting that he was embarrassed.
Gerard Depardieu is very famous in the French entertainment industry, having starred in nearly 200 projects over the years. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for 1990's Cyrano de Bergerac. Peter Weir's English language romantic comedy Green Card also gathered more attention for the actor in North America. Depardieu recently starred in Netflix's French series Marseille, which was canceled after its second season. The French press tore the show apart, with one critic calling it an "industrial accident," while another called it "Red Card."
Some of the negative press for Marseille more than likely stemmed from the fact that Gerard Depardieu moved away from France in 2013 to avoid paying a higher tax rate. The actor still has a home in Paris, but the French press were not very kind to the actor for leaving the country to save some money. The sexual assault allegations against Depardieu are currently being investigated by the authorities and more information should be announced shortly. This story was originally reported by The BBC.