A monument of French cinema in the viewfinder of justice.

Gérard Depardieu was indicted on December 16 for "rape" and "sexual assault", facts he allegedly committed in the summer of 2018 on a young actress, AFP learned on Tuesday February 23 from a close strain of the file, before obtaining confirmation from a judicial source.

The 72-year-old actor disputes the charges.

The complainant, who had denounced to the gendarmerie at the end of August 2018 having been raped twice at the star's Parisian home a few days earlier, had obtained in the summer of 2020 that this investigation, first classified by the Paris prosecutor's office in June 2019, be entrusted to an investigating judge.

The actor's lawyer, Me Hervé Témime, contacted by AFP, "deplored that this information was made public".

Gérard Depardieu, who was left free without judicial control, "totally disputes the facts with which he is accused", said his lawyer.

The young actress in her twenties had initially filed a complaint by going to the Lambesc (Bouches-du-Rhône) gendarmerie at the end of August 2018.

On the record, she accused the actor of two rapes and sexual assaults which allegedly took place at the star's Parisian home, a private mansion in the 6th arrondissement, on August 7 and 13, 2018.

"Nothing professional about it"

According to a source familiar with the matter, the actor is a friend of the victim's family.

"There was absolutely nothing professional about it," said this source, while the press had mentioned a theater rehearsal.

The legal proceedings opened in Aix-en-Provence against the French actor, also a Russian citizen since 2013, had been repatriated to Paris.

On June 4, 2019, the public prosecutor had, however, dismissed its nine months of preliminary investigation, explaining that "the numerous investigations carried out" had "not made it possible to characterize the offenses denounced in all their constituent elements".

A confrontation between the actor and the young actress, never heard of so far, had notably taken place in the premises of the Paris judicial police, a source close to the file told AFP.

The complainant then obtained in mid-August 2020 the resumption of the investigation through a complaint with the constitution of civil party, an appeal which allows the almost automatic appointment of a judge to restart the investigations.

Contacted by AFP, the lawyer for the complainant, Me Élodie Tuaillon-Hibon, asked that "the privacy and privacy of (her) client be preserved".

With AFP

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