Conservative Russian legislator Vitaly Milonov, known for his anti-gay stance, has praised French actor and Russian citizen Gerard Depardieu for sharing his gay experiences in a recent memoir, saying that Russia helped the actor to “purify.”
“Of course, it wasn’t easy for him in France,” said Milonov, commenting on Depardieu’s memoir Ça s’est fait comme ça, in which the actor wrote about his involvement in homosexual prostitution back in his youth. “There, society is corrupted and doesn’t have any moral principles.”
“I view Gerard’s book as sort of repentance, confession of old sins,” Milonov was quoted as saying by the Russian newspaper MK.
“Now that he breathed in the purifying air of Mordovia, all that filth left him,” he added, referring to the Russian region, where Depardieu is permanently registered. “He sincerely repents what he was forced to do in his youth in France. He wants to live in a new way, without all that filth.”
Milonov is known as the initiator of a controversial legislation against “gay propaganda” in St. Petersburg, which was later adopted nationwide. He has repeatedly spoken out against “degrading moral values” in the West, drawing homosexual marriages as an example of that. Earlier this year, he unsuccessfully lobbied for a ban on entering Russia for Eurovision Song Contest winner and cross-dresser Conchita Wurst.
Depardieu obtained Russian citizenship in early 2013 under President Vladimir Putin‘s decree. The actor has supported the Kremlin on major international issues.