The Prosecutors Office in Paris has opened a preliminary inquiry into Oscar-nominated French actor Gérard Depardieu after a complaint was filed by a 22-year-old actress alleging that he sexually assaulted and raped her this month at one of his homes in Paris. The news is just breaking in France via national news service FranceInfo.
According to the news service, the unidentified actress filed a complaint Monday claiming rape and sexual assault. The public prosecutor’s office in Aix-en-Provence, where the original complaint was filed, forwarded the case to the Paris-based territorial brigade of the National Gendarmerie.
Depardieu’s lawyer told Agence France Presse that the actor “absolutely denies any attack, any rape.” “I regret the public nature of this process which poses a major prejudice to Gerard Depardieu, whose innocence I am convinced will be recognized,” attorney Herve Termime told AFP.
One of France’s most famous actors, Depardieu was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar in 1991 for Cyrano de Bergerac. More recently, he played the title character in Abel Ferrera’s Welcome to New York, which was based on the real-life Dominique Strauss-Kahn sex scandal in which the onetime head of the International Monetary Fund was accused of sexually assaulting a maid at New York’s Sofitel Hotel in 2011. DSK, as he was known, was acquitted after a high-profile trial.
The actor, meanwhile, has a slew of projects in various stages of production; most recently, he starred on Netflix’s French series Marseille, which just ended its two-season run.