Gerard Depardieu, 73, LOSES legal bid to have rape charge dismissedMarch 10, 2022
Gerard Depardieu, 73, LOSES legal bid to have rape charge dismissed after judges agree there is compelling evidence he had attacked 25-year-old actress
- The film star is accused of raping actress Charlotte Arnould twice in 2018
- His legal team applied to have charges dismissed but a judge ruled against him
- Arnauld has known Depardieu since she was a child and waived her anonymity
- The 73-year-old said the accusations are ‘baseless’ and denied wrongdoing
Gérard Depardieu has lost a bid to have a rape and sexual assault charge against him dismissed.
Paris judges ruled today there was compelling evidence that the 73-year-old French film star attacked Charlotte Arnould, a 25-year-old actress and family friend who waived her legal right to anonymity.
Ms Arnould posted a message on Twitter at the end of last year reading: ‘I was raped by Gérard Depardieu’.
Gérard Depardieu has lost a bid to have a rape and sexual assault charge against him dismissed
Paris judges ruled today there was compelling evidence that the 73-year-old French actor attacked Charlotte Arnould (pictured)
She went public with her accusation a year to the day since the actor was charged with attacking her at his Paris home in 2018 when she was aged 22.
Ms Arnould, who knew Depardieu since she was a child and has appeared in films including The Art of the Crime, added: ‘I am the victim of Depardieu. He’s been indicted for over a year. I can no longer be silent.’
Depardieu firmly denied any wrongdoing and said the accusations were ‘baseless’, ordering his legal team to apply to have the entire investigation closed.
But Rémy Heitz, the Paris Attorney General, said the actor remained charged with ‘rape and sexual assault’.
In a statement, Mr Heitz wrote: ‘The investigating chamber thus considers that there are, at this stage, serious or concordant indications which justify that Gérard Depardieu remains indicted.’
Mr Arnould’s lawyer, Carine Durrieu-Diebolt, said: ‘My client is particularly relieved and confident that justice that has been rendered today.’
She added that there was compelling evidence that Depardieu ‘did indeed commit the acts of sexual assault and rape of which he is accused.’
Depardieu firmly denied any wrongdoing, and his legal team applied to have the entire investigation closed
There was no immediate comment from Depardieu’s lawyer, Hervé Temime.
Ms Arnould, a former dancer, has told magistrates and police that she was raped and sexually assaulted twice in Depardieu’s £45million mansion after visiting him as a family friend, and receiving advice about her career.
CCTV was retrieved from Depardieu’s mansion on the Left Bank of Paris during a nine-month investigation that started in September 2018.
‘The accused got to know the complainant because he was a good friend of her father,’ said an investigating source.
It was on August 7, 2018 that the complainant says she was first raped.
Video footage in the accused’s house shows them sitting and talking, and then a sex act was filmed.
The complainant told police that she was ‘ill and confused’ about what was happening, and ‘in a state of denial’ returned to Depardieu’s home on August 13, when a second rape allegedly took place.
‘It was two weeks later that she told her mother about what had happened, and then she went to police,’ said an investigating source.
Ms Arnould posted a message on Twitter at the end of last year reading: ‘I was raped by Gérard Depardieu’
Beyond the CCTV, evidence includes ‘disturbing text messages’, in which Depardieu is said to have referenced the late French singer Monique Serf, who was known as Barbara, and who was sexually abused by her father.
The original investigation included a joint hearing of Depardieu and his alleged victim, but it was dropped by Paris prosecutors on June 4, 2019 because of a lack of evidence.
But Ms Arnould filed a second complaint in August 2020, leading to Depardieu’s indictment.
Depardieu, a divorced father-of-four whose long-term partner is the wine entrepreneur and novelist Clémentine Igou, remains free on bail.
He made his names in Hollywood films such as Green Card and Cyrano de Bergerac.
He has been one of the closest Western celebrities to support Russian President Vladimir Putin of over the past decade.
In 2013, he became a Russian citizen to avoid taxes in France, and in a statement to Russian state television, Depardieu said, ‘I love your president, Vladimir Putin, very much and it’s mutual.’
Depardieu, a divorced father-of-four whose long-term partner is the wine entrepreneur and novelist Clémentine Igou, remains free on bail (pictured with actress Isabelle Huppert in 2015)
But Depardieu has since denounced the war in Ukraine, saying: ‘Russia and Ukraine have always been brother countries. I am against this fratricidal war. I say, stop the weapons and negotiate.’
Depardieu divorced his first wife, the actress Elisabeth Guignot, in 1996 after they had two children, Guillaume and Julie. Guillaume died in 2008, aged 37.
While separated from Guignot, Depardieu had a daughter named Roxanne, with model Karine Silla in 1992.
His 14-year-old son, Jean Depardieu, is the result of a relationship with the jewellery designer Helene Bizot.
In recent years his partner has been Ms Igou, a 41-year-old Harvard University graduate he met in Italy 2004, when they bonded over their mutual love of wine. Ms Igou has not yet commented on the rape allegations.
The rape accusations against Depardieu follow a series of #MeToo complaints against powerful men in the Paris arts establishment who are said to have raped or otherwise abused young women working as models and actresses.
In 2001, Time magazine asked Depardieu about a 1978 interview in Film Comment magazine in which he described his rough childhood and was quoted as saying ‘I had plenty of rapes, too many to count’.
Asked if he had participated in the rapes, he told Time that he had. ‘But it was absolutely normal in those times,’ the actor said.
Depardieu currently stars in two films showing in French cinemas. In one he plays the role of Maigret, the fictional police detective created by writer Georges Simenon, who investigates the murder of a young girl.
In the other, ‘Robust’, he plays an ageing, jaded actor who develops a relationship with a young female security guard.
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