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French actor Gérard Depardieu (Green Card) has denied all allegations against him after being charged with rape and sexual assault in an alleged incident from 2018, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
“If there is a case where the presumption of innocence has more meaning than ever, it is this one,” Depardieu’s lawyer, Hervé Temime, told French radio station France Inter on Wednesday, saying his client “firmly contested these allegations.”
Temime, who has also represented director Roman Polanski, another high-profile figure from the French film world accused of rape and sexual assault, noted that the investigation into the alleged assault had been carried out but that instead of a fair trial, his client was being tried in the media. “Justice should not be served in the public arena,” he said.
Depardieu was indicted on Dec. 16, 2020, on allegations of rape and sexual assault made by an unnamed actress in her 20s who claims the 72-year-old Depardieu twice raped and assaulted her at his Paris home in August 2018.
The case against Depardieu was initially dropped in 2019, after a nine-month investigation, for lack of evidence but was reopened last year.
The actress’s lawyer, Elodie Tuaillon-Hibon, told French wire service AFP that she hoped her client’s “private sphere will be respected.”
Depardieu, who has held Russian as well as French citizenship since 2013, largely for tax reasons, was repatriated to Paris for the indictment.
The 72-year-old actor was charged in December, but the news did not come to light until now. Agence France-Presse was the first to report the charges, citing a judicial source. Authorities could not be reached for additional information.
The actor, according to AFP, has been charged with rape and sexual assault, stemming from alleged incidents that occurred in August 2018 at his Parisian home.
The original case was closed without charges in 2019, but reportedly reopened last year. It is not clear what prompted authorities to reopen the case.
Temime told French newspaper Le Monde that Depardieu “totally disputes the facts with which he is accused.”
Updated Feb. 24, 4:14 am with additional lawyer comments.
Scott Roxborough in Cologne contributed to this report.
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