Gerard Depardieu is accused of raping a young actress about three years ago when the two were rehearsing for a show scene at his Paris apartment, according to reports.
The 72-year-old French actor was prosecuted in December in connection with the assault, which allegedly occurred in 2018 when the victim was only 22 years old, a legal source told AFP.
The Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into the claims of the unidentified French actress in August 2018. But after nine months, the case was canceled due to lack of evidence.
The case has now been reopened late last year after the woman resubmitted her complaint, according to the London Guardian.
A senior source close to the investigation said that the French star is in fact a member of the woman’s family.
According to reports, the alleged assault occurred while the two were rehearsing on a show scene – but the source told AFP that “there is nothing professional in the encounter”.
Depardieu, who won an Oscar nomination in 1991 for his role in the film “Cyrano de Bergerk,” has denied the allegations.
His lawyer, Harve Tamim, said the actor remained free but under judicial supervision – and “completely dismisses the allegations”.
Aludi Touilon-Hibon, who represents the alleged victim, said she hopes “the client’s private space will be respected” with the introduction of the criminal case.
Depardieu, who holds both French and Russian citizenship, is one of the most recognizable stars in France, but also enjoys fame in the United States following his roles in “Green Card” and “The Man in the Iron Mask.”
He won the Golden Globe for Best Actor with “Green Card,” a 1990s romantic comedy starring actress Andy McDowell.
Described as having a larger-than-life personality, Depardieu has repeatedly sparked controversy in 2013, condemning his native France for its tax policies that led him to seek Russian citizenship, which was granted to him by none other than Vladimir Putin.
In 2011 he made headlines about urinating in front of passengers on a plane when the flight crew refused to let him use the toilet.
Depardieu was married to French actress Elizabeth Gino for 25 years, the couple divorced in 1996. He also became associated with actress Carol Boca, and writer Clementine Igo.