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Gérard Depardieu defends himself against rape and sexual assault charges: ‘I have nothing to fear’

Clémence Michallon
·1-min read
Gérard Depardieu poses at a resort a day after receiving a career achievement award, in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of el Gouna on 24 October 2020 (El Gouna Film Festival/AFP via G)
Gérard Depardieu poses at a resort a day after receiving a career achievement award, in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of el Gouna on 24 October 2020 (El Gouna Film Festival/AFP via G)

French actor Gérard Depardieu has defended himself after being charged with alleged rape and sexual assault.

According to the news agency Agence France-Presse, Depardieu told the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica: “I thought the case was closed, I am innocent and I have nothing to fear.”

Depardieu reportedly added: “This is why I have always been very serene in the knowledge that the accusations are totally baseless.”

He’s expected to attend a court hearing on 10 March, according to AFP.

Read more: Gérard Depardieu: French actor charged with rape and sexual assault

Depardieu’s attorney Hervé Temime told The Independent Depardieu “is and remains presumed innocent” and “strongly contests the accusations against him”.

The Paris prosecutor’s office told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Depardieu is facing rape and sexual assault charges after authorities revived a 2018 investigation.

The probe had originally been dropped in 2019 due to a lack of evidence. It was revived in August 2020.

The prosecutor’s office told AP that Depardieu was not detained after being handed preliminary charges on 16 December 2020.

After news of the charges emerged, Temime told AFP Depardieu “completely contests” the allegations.

According to AFP, a “young actor” has alleged that Depardieu raped and assaulted her on two separate days in August 2018 at his home in Paris.

Her lawyer Elodie Tuaillon-Hibon told AFP she hopes her client’s privacy can be preserved throughout the proceedings.