SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Actor Gerard Depardieu can be tried for rape, French court rules

A French court has rejected a bid by actor Gerard Depardieu to have rape charges against him dropped, the chief prosecutor in the case has said.

Actor Gerard Depardieu can be tried for rape, French court rules
Gerard Depardieu. (Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat / AFP)

The 73-year-old was charged with raping and sexually assaulting a young French actress at his home in Paris in 2018, an accusation he has called “baseless”.

But Paris chief prosecutor Remy Heitz said in a statement that there was “serious and confirmed evidence that justifies Gerard Depardieu to remain charged” in the case brought by the actress, Charlotte Arnould, who waived her right to anonymity in a tweet in December 2021.

The case will now go back to the prosecuting magistrate who is to resume her work on the case, Heitz said.

Arnould, who was present in the courtroom, declined to comment on the decision, but her lawyer, Carine Durrieu-Diebolt, told AFP that her client was “relieved”.

Depardieu’s lawyer, Herve Temime, had no comment.

Arnould filed her complaint against the actor in the summer of 2018 when she was 22, saying she had been raped twice by Depardieu in his Left Bank mansion in the capital a few days earlier.

The actor was charged in December 2020 and ordered to be placed under judicial supervision, but not jailed.

Depardieu became a star in France from the 1980s with roles in The Last Metro, Police and Cyrano de Bergerac, before Peter Weir’s Green Card also made him a Hollywood celebrity.

He later acted in global productions, including Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet, Ang Lee’s Life of Pi and Netflix’s Marseille series.

In 2013, he sparked a huge outcry by leaving France and taking Russian nationality to protest a proposed tax hike on the rich in his homeland.

Depardieu, a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, last week came out against the war in Ukraine and called for negotiations.

“I am against this fratricidal war. I say ‘stop the weapons and negotiate’,” Depardieu said.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

CRIME

French court convicts 8 for stealing Banksy from Paris terror attack site

A French court on Thursday convicted eight men for the theft and handling of a Banksy painting paying homage to the victims of the 2015 attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.

French court convicts 8 for stealing Banksy from Paris terror attack site

Three men in their 30s who admitted to the 2019 theft were given prison sentences, one of four years and two of three, although they will be able to serve them wearing electronic tracking bracelets rather than behind bars.

Another man, a 41-year-old millionaire lottery winner and street art fan accused of being the mastermind of the heist, was given three years in jail for handling stolen goods after judges found the main allegation unproven. His sentence will also be served with a bracelet.

Elsewhere in the capital, the defence was making its final arguments in the trial of the surviving suspects in the 2015 Paris attacks themselves, with a verdict expected on June 29.

‘Acted like vultures’ 

British street artist Banksy painted his “sad girl” stencil on the metal door of the Bataclan in memory of the 90 people killed there on November 13th, 2015.

A white van with concealed number-plates was seen stopping on January 26, 2019 in an alleyway running alongside the central Paris music venue.

Many concertgoers fled via the same alley when the Bataclan became the focal point of France’s worst ever attacks since World War II, as Islamic State group jihadists killed 130 people at a string of sites across the capital.

On the morning of the theft, three masked men climbed out of the van, cut the hinges with angle grinders powered by a generator and left within 10 minutes, in what an investigating judge called a “meticulously prepared” heist.

Prosecutor Valerie Cadignan told the court earlier this month that the perpetrators had not sought to debase the memory of the attack victims, but “being aware of the priceless value of the door were looking to make a profit”.

She said the thieves “acted like vultures, like people who steal objects without any respect for what they might represent”.

During the trial, Bataclan staff said the theft sparked “deep indignation”, adding that the painted door was a “symbol of remembrance that belongs to everyone, locals, Parisians, citizens of the world”.

Investigators pieced together the door’s route across France and into Italy, where it was found in June 2020 on a farm in Sant’Omero, near the Adriatic coast.

Three men involved in transporting the door were each jailed for 10 months, while a 58-year-old Italian man who owns a hotel where it was temporarily stored received a six-month suspended sentence.

SHOW COMMENTS