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French actor Gérard Depardieu under formal investigation for alleged rape and sexual assault

Gérard Depardieu is under formal investigation in France for alleged rape and sexual assault, judicial sources have confirmed to CNN. The movie star has been under investigation since December last year, they said.

The complainant is a young actress who accused the actor of several rapes and sexual assaults in the summer of 2018, the sources added.

Depardieu’s lawyer, Hervé Temime, told CNN the actor disputes the allegations of wrongdoing and reminds of the presumption of innocence and that this case was initially dropped last June. The case was recently reopened by the judiciary.

In 2018, the French actor was accused of rape and sexual assault by a 22-year-old woman, prompting a “preliminary investigation” according to the Paris public prosecutor’s office.

In the French judicial system, formal investigation ensues if officials find grounds for pursuing the matter further.

Temime said in 2018 when Depardieu was first accused that his client was “shocked” by the accusation and “totally denies any assault, any rape and any criminal act.”

He added then, “I have strong elements to show that no offense took place,” and that the offense was “the opposite” of Depardieu’s personality.

The complaint was filed on August 27 and went to the Paris prosecutor on August 29.

“I regret that this investigation was not kept secret as usual,” Temime added.

Also in 2018, Temime confirmed that Depardieu knows the woman who accused him, but denied he was with her during the dates mentioned in the complaint.

Depardieu is known for his roles in films like “Green Card,” “The Man in the Iron Mask” and “Life of Pi.” He was also nominated for an Oscar in 1991 for his leading role in “Cyrano de Bergerac.”

He was granted Russian citizenship by Vladimir Putin after saying he was going to give up his French passport in protest at government plans for a tax hike on the richest.

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CNN Newsource

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