French actor Gérard Depardieu to face trial over sexual assault allegations

French actor Gérard Depardieu to face trial over sexual assault allegations

French actor Gérard Depardieu will face trial in October over allegations of sexual assault, Paris prosecutors have said.

The 75-year-old was summoned by police over two separate allegations brought by two women who worked with Depardieu on film sets in 2014 and 2021, broadcaster BFMTV said.

The women have reportedly alleged that Depardieu groped them during filming, once in 2014 on the set of The Magician and the Siamese, and the other in 2021 on the set of The Green Shutters.

Later on Monday, a lawyer for Depardieu said French police had released him from custody.

The lawyer, Christian Saint-Palais, said: “The police custody is over. He is no longer held in the police station.”

Prosecutors confirmed later the same day that Depardieu would appear in court in October over the 2021 assault allegations.

“He will be judged in October 2024 for sexual assaults allegedly committed in September 2021 against two victims, during the filming of the movie Les volets verts (The Green Shutters),” prosecutors said.

One of the two new victims alleged in February that Depardieu grabbed her and touched her breasts on the set of The Green Shutters. Her lawyer told BFMTV that her client was “passing through a corridor where Mr Depardieu was sitting”.

“He grabbed her, trapped her between his legs and touched her body up to her breasts,” the lawyer said.

“She felt completely powerless, incapable of escaping this trap.”

The alleged 2014 assault was reported to police in January this year, Le Parisien reported.

Gerard Depardieu (REUTERS)

The prosecutor added in its statement: “Additionally, G Depardieu is under investigation (in another case) for the offenses of rape and sexual assault allegedly committed in August 2018 against Charlotte Arnould”.

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“The investigating judge concluded their inquiries on 17 April 2024, and forwarded the case to the Paris prosecutor’s office to gather their recommendations on the next steps to take.”

His lawyer has not yet released a statement on the latest allegations or the trial.

In 2020, Depardieu was indicted on rape and sexual assault charges after being accused of raping and sexually assaulting French film star Charlotte Arnould, 28, at his Paris mansion in 2018. The case remains open.

Depardieu denies wrongdoing and says that any relationships he has had were consensual. In an open letter last October, he said: “I have never, ever abused a woman.”

A separate case filed last year and relating to allegations of groping on a 2007 film shoot was dropped by prosecutors for being past the statute of limitations.

Depardieu has faced public accusations by a dozen women of harassing, groping or sexually assaulting them.

Oscar-nominated Depardieu was long seen as a national icon in France. He has been a global ambassador for French film, having appeared in more than 200 productions, and enjoyed international fame with several roles in Hollywood.

(From L) French actors Hippolyte Girardot, Gerard Depardieu, Geraldine Pailhas, Nadia Fares and Benoit Magimel pose during a photocall for the premiere of the French TV show “Marseille” (AFP via Getty Images)

But he has become a divisive figure in French society, with some women viewing him as a symbol of the country’s inability to tackle allegations of sexual abuse by powerful men in the wake of the #Metoo movement.

In April last year, he was accused of sexual harassment by 13 women, a number that has reportedly increased to 16. French investigative news website Mediapart said Depardieu has been accused of harassing, groping or sexually assaulting these women.

Others, including French President Emmanuel Macron and several well-known actors, have rallied to his defence.

“He’s an immense actor, a genius of his art,” Macron said late last year.

“He makes France proud.”

Macron told a press conference the following month that he regretted not having stressed “the importance of the words of women who are victims of this type of violence”.

Rape Crisis offers support for those affected by rape and sexual abuse. You can call them on 0808 802 9999 in England and Wales, 0808 801 0302 in Scotland, and 0800 0246 991 in Northern Ireland, or visit their website at If you are in the US, you can call Rainn on 800-656-HOPE (4673).

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