Published: 15 Jan 2013 15:58 GMT+01:00 | Print version
Updated: 15 Jan 2013 15:58 GMT+01:00
The roller-coaster life of Gerard Depardieu took a new turn on Tuesday with press reports claiming the French actor had been given a Belgian driving licence despite him facing criminal trial in his native France on drink-driving charges.
The charges against Depardieu were brought after he was reportedly found to be three times over the drink driving limit when he crashed his scooter in an accident in November.
But the 64-year-old larger than life actor failed to show for his scheduled court hearing in Paris earlier this month, meaning Depardieu could now be hauled before a criminal court which would have the power to impose a prison sentence of up to two years.
But it appears authorities in Belgium, where Depardieu recently bought a home, have not been keeping up to date with the Depardieu soap opera, with daily newspaper Nord Éclair reporting on Tuesday that the star of Cyrano de Bergerac had been granted a new driving licence.
The Belgian edition of the paper said Depardieu had picked up the document in person on January 10th in the town of Estampuis, not far from his new home.
The newspaper said he offered staff at the town hall several bottles of wine from vineyards he owns in the Loire Valley, although the local mayor, asked by AFP, said they were "very surprised to learn all of that in the press."
Daniel Senesael neither confirmed nor denied the story. Belgian media claimed Depardieu, 64, could continue to drive with his Belgian licence even if French authorities revoked his permit.
Depardieu's excuse for skipping his court appearance was that he was holding talks in Montenegro on a film in which he will play fallen former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
The actor, whose many previous exploits include urinating in a bottle on a plane, said he had told French officials he would be absent.
A man was arrested on Friday after causing a scare at the Cannes Film Festival, where he attacked a TV studio with a gun loaded with blanks and a dummy grenade, police and witnesses said. READ () »
French actor and newly-minted Russian citizen Gerard Depardieu on Saturday compared President Vladimir Putin to the late Pope John Paul II and said the ex-KGB agent is what Russia needs as a leader. READ () »
France became the 14th country to legalise same-sex marriage Saturday after President Francois Hollande signed the measure into law following months of bitter political debate. READ () »
Struggling French oyster farmers, whose haul has diminished in recent years, are set to receive some much needed help from their Swedish counterparts, by importing oyster spats from Sweden for the first time. READ () »
France's highest court the Constitutional Council cleared the divisive gay marriage bill on Friday, paving the way for same sex unions to become legal. Francois Hollande said he would sign the bill into law as soon as Saturday. READ () »
While many in the world of football raised a glass to David Beckham when he announced his retirement on Thursday, elements in the French media as well as PSG fans in Paris could not hide the fact they feel a little cheated by his minimal contribution on the pitch. READ () »
Thieves have stolen Chopard jewellery worth $1 million at Cannes Film Festival, French police reported on Friday. The jewellery was due to be loaned to film stars over the coming days. READ () »
Around 750 police have been stationed at schools across the French city of Strasbourg after an anonymous person, believed to be a teenager, posted a message online threatening to commit suicide and kill several pupils at a school on Friday. READ () »
Charges of manslaughter against Martine Aubry, a leading member of France's ruling Socialist Party, were dropped on Friday by a French court. The charges related to a probe into thousands of deaths caused by exposure to asbestos. READ () »
French companies have long had a reputation for relying heavily on unpaid interns. New figures released on Friday highlighting the staggering number of interns on the payroll at banking giant Societé General will only confirm this reputation. READ () »