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CRIME

French actor Gérard Depardieu charged with rape and sexual assault

French film giant Gérard Depardieu has been charged with rape and sexual assault, a judicial source told AFP on Tuesday, the latest in a string of such allegations against prominent figures in France.

French actor Gérard Depardieu charged with rape and sexual assault
Actor Gérard Depardieu. Photo: AFP

Depardieu, one of the most famous actors of his generation, is accused of assaulting and raping an actress in her 20s in 2018.

An initial investigation into the rape accusations against the 72-year old Depardieu was dropped in 2019 for lack of evidence.

But it was reopened last summer, leading to criminal charges being filed in December, the judicial source said.

The actress accuses Depardieu of having raped and assaulted her at his Parisian home on two separate occasions in August 2018.

Depardieu’s lawyer Herve Temime told AFP that the actor, who is free but under judicial supervision, “completely rejects the accusations”.

According to a source close to the case, Depardieu is a friend of the actress’s family.

Some reports have suggested that Depardieu and the actress were rehearsing a scene of a theatre play, but the source said “there was nothing professional about the encounter”.

The woman’s lawyer, Elodie Tuaillon-Hibon, told AFP that she hoped her client’s “private sphere will be respected” as the case unfolds.

Besides long being a superstar in his home country, Depardieu is one of France’s best-known actors abroad.

He won acclaim in French-language films such as “The Last Metro” and “Jean de Florette,” but went on to perform in a range of English-language movies, including the romantic comedy “Green Card” and a film version of “Hamlet”.

But over the course of his career he has often been embroiled in scandals which have hit the headlines.

He is the father of four, including the actor Guillaume Depardieu who died in 2008.

Just over three years since the #MeToo movement broke taboos around rape across the world, France is seeing another outpouring of stories and a wide-ranging debate about sex, power and consent.

READ ALSO Has France’s Me Too moment finally arrived?

Each week has brought new revelations targeting the rich and powerful, with one of the country’s best-known television presenters, Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, becoming the latest to be accused of rape.

And a former French government minister, Georges Tron, last week began serving three years in prison after a court found him guilty of raping an employee during “foot massages” in his office and at the home of his co-defendant.

Member comments

  1. The actress accuses Depardieu of having raped and assaulted her at his Parisian home on two separate occasions in August 2018.
    Why would a victim return to the scene of the crime?

    1. Correct. It does make one think if there is an alternative motive involved. I’ve met this guy a few times, he has a wicked sense of humour and always takes the Michael out of me about my pronunciation of French.

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CRIME

French Holocaust denier rejects extradition move from Scotland

A prominent French Holocaust denier, who fled the country after being convicted under anti-Nazi laws, does not consent to be extradited to France, an Edinburgh court heard on Thursday.

French Holocaust denier rejects extradition move from Scotland

Vincent Reynouard, 53, who was excused from attending his preliminary extradition hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, was arrested in the fishing town of Anstruther, just north of the Scottish capital, in November.

“Mr Reynouard does not consent to extradition to France,” his lawyer, who asked not to be named, told the court.

“I was instructed at about 6pm last night and I do require some time to consider the matter.

“There is a matter that is, I think, of legal significance that I need more time to consider.”

Sheriff Norman McFadyen agreed to continue the case until January 12th. A full extradition hearing is due to take place in February.

Reynouard had reportedly been living in Anstruther under a false name.

He had been sought by France’s central office for combating crimes against humanity, known by its initials OCLCH.

Holocaust denial has been a criminal offence in France since 1990, and Reynouard has been convicted on numerous occasions.

As a student in 1991, he was convicted for distributing revisionist literature.

In 2001, he was suspended as a school maths teacher for printing and distributing Holocaust-denying pamphlets and setting homework involving counting concentration camp victims.

In 2007, while working as a chemical engineer, Reynouard was sentenced to one year in prison and fined €10,000 for Holocaust denial after writing a pamphlet claiming the death of six million Jews during World War II was “impossible”.

He was handed a four-month prison sentence in France in November 2020 and a further six-month term in January 2021 concerning a series of anti-Semitic posts on social media.

In August 2020, a memorial in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, the site of the worst Nazi atrocity in France, was defaced with slogans including the words “Reynouard is right”.

He had questioned the massacre in several videos posted online. Reynouard first appeared in court in Scotland after his arrest last month and remains in custody.

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