The French judiciary has opened a formal investigation into rape and sexual assault against actor Gérard Depardieu.
An examining magistrate initiated this on December 16, as the AFP news agency learned on Tuesday from judicial circles.
The German Press Agency also reports on it, citing judicial circles.
A young actress and dancer accuses the 72-year-old of having sexually abused her twice in his Paris apartment in August 2018.
Depardieu denies the allegations.
The actress filed a complaint in the same month, but the investigations triggered by this were discontinued in June 2019.
The Paris public prosecutor said at the time that there were no indications of possible offenses by Depardieu.
In August 2020, the woman filed a sharper lawsuit, which is why new investigations were necessary.
The proceedings that have now been initiated could lead to criminal proceedings if the investigating judges ultimately see sufficient evidence against Depardieu.
Otherwise they could drop the case.
Depardieu's attorney said his client "fully denies the allegations against him".
The plaintiff's attorney asked that "the privacy and privacy" of her client be respected.
Depardieu is one of the most famous French actors - among others for his roles as Cyrano von Bergerac, Obelix and Count of Monte Christo.