Actor Gerald Depardieu’s Sex Assault Probe Dropped By French Prosecutors

Actor Gerald Depardieu's Sex Assault Probe Dropped By French Prosecutors

Gerald Depardieu was in 2020 charged with rape and sexual assault. (File)


A sexual assault complaint filed last year against French screen legend Gerald Depardieu but dating back to 2007 was past the statute of limitations, prosecutors said Monday.

Gerald Depardieu, 75, has been charged with rape in another case and has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by more than a dozen women, allegations he denies.

The criminal complaint from actor Helene Darras, who said Gerald Depardieu groped and propositioned her during a 2007 film shoot, was dropped late last month, the Paris prosecutors’ office told AFP.

Neither Darras nor Gerald Depardieu’s lawyers were immediately available for comment.

Darras had already spoken to investigators in 2022 and news site Mediapart before filing her complaint in September, she told AFP last month.

“It took me a year to go from talking about what happened to the criminal complaint,” she said at the time.

“Walking through the door of a police station, telling an officer someone touched your intimate parts, it’s not easy, you need time to think about it,” she added.

But she had “wanted to respond to the defence that plays down our allegations by saying they’re ‘just’ witness accounts,” Darras said.

In an interview with broadcaster France 2, she accused Gerald Depardieu of touching her hips and buttocks and inviting her into his dressing room, continuing even after she refused.

Gerald Depardieu was in 2020 charged with rape and sexual assault after another actor, Charlotte Arnould, filed her own complaint over allegations dating to 2018.

Arnould’s lawyer has also asked Paris prosecutors to investigate a recording of Gerald Depardieu making derogatory comments about women during a filming trip to North Korea, which was later passed to France 2.

In a separate case, Spanish journalist and author Ruth Baza said that she had filed a criminal complaint in Spain against Gerald Depardieu last month, claiming he raped her nearly three decades ago in Paris.

The complaint has little hope of leading to charges due to the statute of limitations in France, but Baza said she decided to go ahead anyway in the hope that it would “help other people” to do the same.

Repeated allegations of sexual violence against Gerald Depardieu have become a culture-war frontline in France, dividing the world of cinema and pitting feminist groups against the actor’s defenders — including President Emmanuel Macron.

The President last month said Gerald Depardieu should enjoy the presumption of innocence, calling him an “immense actor” who “makes France proud” and saying he was now the victim of a “manhunt”.

Emmanuel Macron more recently allowed that he had not “said enough how important the words of women who are victims of this violence are”.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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