French actor Gerard Depardieu charged with alleged rape and sexual assault from 2018 case

The 'Green Card' actor allegedly assaulted an actress at his home in Paris, according to French media reports

French actor Gerard Depardieu was charged with rape and sexual assault in December from a 2018 case that was revived by authorities. 

The Paris prosecutor’s office told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Depardieu was not detained when he was handed the preliminary charges on Dec. 16.

The prosecutor’s office addressed the charges after the case was leaked to French media.

In a statement to Fox News, Depardieu's lawyer, Hervé Temime said that his client maintains his innocence.

FRENCH ACTOR GERARD DEPARDIEU ACCUSED OF RAPE

"Mr. Depardieu was indicted in December 2020, an information that had remained secret since then, in accordance with French law," the statement reads. "This information became public yesterday, which is regrettable."

Temime added: "An investigating judge is in charge of this file. Mr. Depardieu is and remains presumed innocent. He strongly contests the accusations against him. The investigation must continue in calm, secrecy and respect for Mr. Depardieu’s presumption of innocence."

French media reports said the charges relate to allegations made by an actress in her 20s that date back to 2018. An initial inquiry against the star was dropped in 2019 because of lack of evidence but was later revived.

French newspaper Le Parisien and broadcaster BFM TV said the woman alleged that Depardieu assaulted her on Aug. 7 and Aug. 13, 2018 at his home in Paris. The two met when Depardieu led a master class at her school, BFM TV reported.

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 taken over by Paris investigators but was soon dropped.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday, commenting on charges after they were leaked to the French press, saying that French actor Gerard Depardieu was handed preliminary rape and sexual assault charges on Dec. 16, 2020, without the actor being detained.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday, commenting on charges after they were leaked to the French press, saying that French actor Gerard Depardieu was handed preliminary rape and sexual assault charges on Dec. 16, 2020, without the actor being detained. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

Depardieu, 72, is among France's most well-known and controversial stars.

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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 co-starring Andie MacDowell.

His first big hit in France was "Les Valseuses," ("Going Places"), Bertrand Blier’s classic farce about two wandering thugs.

Before crossing the Atlantic to star in "Green Card," Depardieu played an array of roles, ranging from Jean Valjean, the thief-turned-saint in "Les Miserables," to Christopher Columbus.

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In 2014, he played the leading role in "Welcome to New York," the film inspired by the life of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former director of the International Monetary Fund who was accused in 2011 of sexually assaulting a hotel maid.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.