Gérard Depardieu: "I really panicked", the actor again accused of sexual assault

Already accused by more than 13 women of sexual assault and harassment, a new woman spoke on France Inter to denounce the behavior of the actor.

Gérard Depardieu: "I really panicked", the actor again accused of sexual assault

Already accused by more than 13 women of sexual assault and harassment, a new woman spoke on France Inter to denounce the behavior of the actor.

Gérard Depardieu is under fire for several charges: first, an indictment for rape and sexual assault in the Charlotte Arnould case. He was then accused by 13 women who denounced in Médiapart assaults and sexual harassment, committed in the context of filming. This Monday, July 10, 2023, another woman spoke at the microphone of France Inter to denounce the inappropriate behavior of the actor.

Third assistant director on the set of a TV movie on which Gérard Depardieu is working, she had to take care of the actor. First, she denounces "heavy and vulgar remarks" then "increasingly supported proposals for sexual intercourse, even paid. And there were wandering hands, on the buttocks, and in the crotch". She claims that some of these acts took place in the presence of the TV film crew, who did not react.

The one that France Inter nicknamed "Léa" (her name has been changed) then denounced a sexual assault that occurred on the film set. : "He lowered his pants and showed me his penis. So there I really panicked. I left the room as I could, but he caught up with me in the hallway and blocked me against the wall. His stomach was blocking everything so he couldn't do anything, but as soon as I could get some respite, I ran and locked myself in another room." Gérard Depardieu's lawyers did not respond to requests from France Inter, but the actor has in the past always "formally denied all charges likely to fall under criminal law".

Biography of Gérard Depardieu - Gérard Depardieu was born on December 27, 1948. Actor, producer, French businessman, cultural ambassador of Montenegro and Russian citizen, Gérard Depardieu is often talked about thanks to his many hats. A poor child, he became, through hard work, a key player in French cinema. He has toured with the greatest filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard and Alain Resnais.

Gérard Depardieu grew up in poverty, with a working and violent father and a stay-at-home mother. He is surrounded by five siblings. Hardly going to school, which he officially left at 13, he was partly illiterate and stuttered. During his adolescence, to earn money, he smuggled and stole from time to time. He then did a few odd jobs: apprentice in a printing press of the Center France press group, clandestine boxing or even a beach attendant at La Garoupe on Cap d'Antibes.

In 1963, he moved to Paris and took comedy lessons at the Théâtre national populaire, then Jean-Laurent Cochet's lessons at the Edouard VII theatre. In 1970, he married Elisabeth Guignot who notably introduced him to Jacques Demy and Agnès Varda, for whom he acted as babysitter. At the same time, he made up for his shortcomings in culture, read the great classic texts and corrected his speech and his memory. In 1965, he took his first steps in front of the camera in the short film "Le Beatnik et le Minet" by Roger Leenhardt. He then had small roles in "The cry of the cormorant at night above the junks" by Michel Audiard and "A little sun in cold water" by Jacques Deray, in the early 1970s. He also played in the theater where he meets Marguerite Duras, who offers him a role in "Nathalie Granger" and "La Femme du Gange".

It was thanks to his role as a nice thug in "Les Valseuses", by Bertrand Blier, in 1974, that Gérard Depardieu met with success. He then went on to film in the company of renowned filmmakers and actors and actresses. Thus, he plays alongside Robert de Niro in "1900" by Bernardo Bertolucci and Coluche in "Inspecteur la Bavure" by Claude Zidi. Although being faithful to Bertrand Blier, Gérard Depardieu turns for other French filmmakers such as Maurice Pialat with four films, Alain Resnais and François Truffaut, in particular in "The last metro", for which he receives the César for best actor in 1981. He also frequently plays characters from French literature and history, such as in "Danton" by Andrzej Wajda in 1982, "Jean de Florette" by Claude Berri in 1986 and "1492: Christophe Colomb" by Ridley Scott in 1992. Depardieu impresses for his game, of course, but also for his ability to change register.

In 1990, Gérard Depardieu marked the spirits in "Cyrano de Bergerac". Originally a play written by Edmond Rostand, it was adapted into a film by Jean-Paul Rappeneau. This play features Cyrano, a poet but an ugly man, madly in love with his cousin Roxane. Unfortunately, she only has eyes for Christian de Neuvillette. The concerned, awkward to express himself, asks Cyrano for help to win her over. The poet thus helps him with fine words. But Cyrano and Christian are then mobilized in the war against Spain. Christian then discovers Cyrano's love for Roxane and therefore decides to confess everything to her, except that he dies during an offensive. 15 years later, the trickery is discovered by Roxane, during the visit of Cyrano, dying, in his convent. Depardieu gets the title role of Cyrano. This interpretation is remembered. Thanks to this role, he again received the César for best actor, which can be found in Edmond Rostand's house in Cambo-les-bains, and also the prize for male interpretation at the Cannes Film Festival and a nomination for best actor at the BAFTA and the Oscars.

Thanks to the success of "Cyrano de Bergerac", American cinema reaches out to him and he obtains the leading role in the film "Green Card" by Peter Weir. He won a Golden Globe for best comedy actor for this film. But, following a poorly translated interview in "Time" magazine in February 1991, Depardieu was entangled in a scandal, which earned him his favorite status in the United States, and especially for the Oscar for best actor.

He therefore continues to tour in France, mainly in popular films and comedies. He will thus begin to embody the famous comic book character "Obelix" in "Asterix and Obelix against Caesar" by Claude Zidi, in 1999 and "Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra" by Alain Chabat, in 2002. This marks more his fame again. In the 2000s and 2010s, Gérard Depardieu mainly appeared in comedies such as "Boudu" by Gérard Jugnot, "Coco" by Gad Elmaleh, "Mammuth" and "Potiche" by François Ozon.

Gérard Depardieu also plays in TV movies, such as "The Count of Monte-Cristo", "Balzac" and "Les Miserables". The latter, broadcast in four episodes in September 2000 on TF1, is an adaptation of the eponymous work by Victor Hugo. Gérard Depardieu plays Jean Valjean alongside Christian Clavier as Thénardier, John Malkovich as Javert and Virginie Ledoyen and Charlotte Gainsbourg as Cosette and Fantine. Depardieu therefore becomes one of the many actors to have interpreted and left his mark on this character.

On April 11, 1970, Gérard Depardieu married actress Elisabeth Guignot. Together they have two children: Guillaume (1971-2008) and Julie, born in 1973. They separate in 1992 but do not divorce until 2006. He then dates Karine Silla and has a daughter, Roxane, born in 1992. From 1996 in 2005, he had a relationship with actress Carole Bouquet and at the same time, from 2001 to 2006, with Hélène Bizot. They have a son, named Jean, born on July 14, 2006. Clémence Igou, marketing manager of a wine estate in Tuscany, has been his partner since 2005.

Gérard Depardieu and his son Guillaume shared a conflicted relationship. The son hated his father, often calling him "a jerk". The latter being often absent, Guillaume could not bear to be the "son of" and absolutely wanted to succeed without being in the shadow of his father. This challenge, Guillaume Depardieu will take it up not without difficulty. After serving two years in prison for possession and trafficking of heroin, he won the César for best male hope and the Jean Gabin prize in 1996, for "Les Apprentis". But a succession of accidents and health problems led him to contract pneumonia, which led to his death on October 13, 2008, at the age of 37. Gérard Depardieu, who admits that he was not often present, thinks on the other hand that he is not responsible for the tragic fate of his son, but that it is above all French justice which is the cause as he said to Le Figaro.

The relationship between Gérard Depardieu and his daughter is less conflictual but just as complicated. Julie Depardieu revealed that it could be difficult to be the daughter of Gérard Depardieu, an extravagant man, having the easy prank. For example, her intervention on the César stage when her daughter received the César for best female hope in 2004. But she explains that she is now used to it.

Since 2010, the latter has been in a relationship with the singer and actor Philippe Katerine. And between her father and her companion, the current goes well, as she said in an interview for Nice matin: "Gérard adores Philippe! He comes to our house all the time, for him". So much so that the singer and actor invited his stepfather on his album "Confession", in a duet on the song "Blond" which talks about racism.

In his autobiography "Innocent", published by Cherche-Midi, Gérard Depardieu reveals that he converted to Islam in the 1970s: "I went to the mosque for two years. I said the five prayers a day ". He adds: "The real danger is when man with all his arrogance, his perversity and his ignorance begins to interpret the sacred texts with the sole aim, not necessarily conscious, of putting himself in the place of God" . He concludes with: "The real danger is not faith, it never was faith". In Le Parisien, Depardieu explains why it only lasted two years: "I was a Muslim for two years in the 1970s, it was difficult, the five daily prayers of Islam, the ban on eating pork , which is not, between us, fundamental…”, and also explains what pushed him to this conversion: “My youth. Philosophy. Bible, science fiction novels, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Koran, the Talmud…", but also the Egyptian singer Oum Kalthoum.

Throughout his life, Gérard Depardieu did not hesitate to show his support for men and political parties. First of all in the 1980s, he supported the left and in particular François Mitterand for his re-election. This one is indeed re-elected and awards him the Legion of Honor. From the 1990s, he supported the French Communist Party and then the Greens. From 2007, Depardieu turns to the right supporting Nicolas Sarkozy.

He was friends with Fidel Castro and in 2012 supported Ramzan Kadyrov, then president of Chechnya and accused of violating human rights in his country, and also Islom Karimov, president of Uzbekistan, also accused of violating the same rights in his country. In February 2013, he received a five-room apartment from Ramzan Kadyrov, then in November 2019, he became the tourism ambassador for Uzbekistan in France.

In 2012, a controversy broke out over a possible tax exile on the part of the actor. This follows the purchase of a property in Néchin in Belgium. Following this, Gérard Depardieu decides to renounce social security in France and the advantages of his French passport, through an open letter addressed to the Prime Minister.

On January 3, 2013, Gérard Depardieu was granted Russian citizenship by the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Poutine. The actor had requested it by letter: he indeed loves Putin, Russia, its history and its writers. As soon as Depardieu goes to Russia, he is very well received there.

Gérard Depardieu has an important heritage. He owns vineyards in France, Italy, Morocco and Algeria. He creates the company "La Clé du terroir" with Bernard Magrez, in order to acquire and promote new wine estates. In addition, he invests in large restaurants, hotels, brasseries, cellar-restaurants and fishmongers, all located in the rue du Cherche-Midi in Paris. He also founded his own production company, "DD Productions", in 1983 and created the festival "Un Réaliseur dans la Ville" in Nîmes in 2005. He continued to invest, notably in oil exploration in Cuba in 1999 and in gastronomic establishments in Belgium in 2012-2013. There, he became the owner of a real estate agency. In Russia, he creates his company with the status of auto-entrepreneur and has activities in the cinema, trade, catering, real estate and tourism. In December 2012, his wealth was estimated at $120 million, according to the American business daily The Wall Street Journal.

In 1988, he would be the third highest paid French actor, with fees ranging between 2 and 5 million francs per film. According to Le Figaro, in 2002 his remuneration amounted to 2.04 million euros (excluding television and theater). In 2004, he was third in the ranking with 3.35 million and in 2005, he again became the highest paid French actor with 3.2 million euros. He resumed this status in 2008, with 3.54 million euros. Part of Depardieu's income is made through advertising, such as with the promotion of Barilla sauces in the 1990s, where he received 7 million francs. According to the 2012 list of Figaro, he is the second highest paid French actor with income amounting to 2.3 million euros.

On December 16, 2021, Charlotte Arnould revealed on social networks to be the young woman who filed a complaint for rape and sexual assault against Gérard Depardieu. "Today I need to live in the truth, she wrote on Twitter. I live hidden and in silence. It is no longer bearable. I need to express myself. I was raped by Gérard Depardieu in August 2018. He has been indicted for a year. He works while I spend my time surviving." Charlotte Arnould is a 25-year-old actress and dancer from Jura. She has mostly appeared in theater and short films. His father was a friend of the actor.

Gérard Depardieu would have almost always been present in the life of Charlotte Arnould according to the 27-year-old young woman, a closeness due to the friendship forged between the actor and the parents of the actress. This "family friend" would have even been aware of the little girl's health problems very early on: "He was aware of my anorexia. He was even the one who recommended a psychiatrist to us. He followed a lot of things in my life", recounts the complainant in the pages of Elle. A presence such as the dancer and actress says she considered Gérard Depardieu "a bit like a spiritual father" of whom she was "admiring". "I had confidence in him," even admits Charlotte Arnould to the magazine.

It is with this confidence and by lending this role of mentor to Gérard Depardieu that the actress would have gone to the Parisian home of the actor in 2018. According to her own description, Charlotte Arnould was at the time "confident in relation to the people looked at me. [...] Very hardworking, [...] a wise young girl, with lots of artistic dreams", but still dominated by illness. To the magazine, the dancer adds that she was "physically and mentally" vulnerable the day of her first alleged attack by Gérard Depardieu: "I then relapsed, I weigh 37 kilos and I only think about food and calories" . A scene from which the young woman claims to have consequences and which would have happened again, according to her, a few days later when she returned to Gérard Depardieu at the actor's invitation for what she thought was a confrontation. .

For critics of the actress and supporters of Gérard Depardieu, the fact that Charlotte Arnould returned to the actor after a possible first attack discredits the accusations of the young woman. However, as an alleged victim, the young woman assures that this is part of the "symptoms and evidence of what she has suffered. [...] We know the mechanisms of amazement, dissociation, traumatic memory". And to add: "I was in denial. It took me two weeks to name the facts, which is common for victims".

Gérard Depardieu was indicted on December 16, 2020 for rape and sexual assault. This is what AFP learned from judicial sources on February 23, 2021. In August 2018, a young actress in her twenties, actress Charlotte Arnould, denounced acts of rape and sexual assault to the gendarmerie of Lambesc, in the Bouches-du-Rhône. She claims to have been raped twice by the French cinema giant in her Parisian home in the summer of 2018.

As a reminder, the investigation, which began in 2018, was dismissed by the Paris prosecutor's office in 2019. The complainant, however, filed a civil action, which automatically led to the reopening of the investigations, carried out by a investigating judge, in the summer of 2020. The magistrate in charge of the case estimated, following an interrogation on December 16, 2020, that there were "serious or concordant indications" that the septuagenarian actor could have committed the facts denounced . On March 10, 2022, the Attorney General of Paris, Rémy Heitz, confirms the indictment for rape and sexual assault of Gérard Depardieu, after the actor asked the justice that it be considered void. On April 11, 2023, 13 other women accused the 74-year-old actor of sexual violence in a lengthy Mediapart article.

For his part, Gérard Depardieu firmly denies his accusations. According to his lawyer, Me Hervé Témime, the 72-year-old actor "totally disputes the facts alleged against him". He also "deplores" that "this information is made public." With Franceinfo, he recalled that his client "firmly disputes these facts and has the right to be defended and must be considered as presumed innocent." The indictment of Gérard Depardieu changes a lot of things in the case. First, this statute stipulates that the investigating judge in charge of the investigation considered that there were "serious or consistent indications" against the actor. Moreover, the fact that Gérard Depardieu is indicted means that he can actively defend himself during the procedure. The indictment may also eventually lead to a possible trial.

"There is no evidence, there is nothing against me and therefore I am very calm," said Gérard Depardieu in the columns of the Italian media La Repubblica in 2021, just days after his indictment for rape and sexual assault has been publicized. If he admits to feeling "sadness and perplexity" in the face of this case, the 72-year-old actor assures, while criticizing the media flow around this case, that the accusations against him are "completely unfounded". "For me, the investigation was closed for lack of evidence. In court, I will reaffirm my innocence. I am innocent and I have nothing to fear."