Oscar-nominated actor Gerard Depardieu has reportedly been charged with rape, stemming from an alleged 2018 incident. According to Yahoo News and French news agency AFP, 72-year-old Depardieu was charged in December for the alleged rape of an unnamed woman in her 20s. The woman claims the incident took place at Depardieu's home in Paris in 2018.
Depardieu was previously investigated for the alleged crime, but in 2019 the case was dropped due to a lack of evidence. The case was reopened in the summer of 2020, as the alleged victim re-filed as an "injured party," according to The Independent. The outlet explains that under French law, "injured parties" are commonly able to have their cases further investigated by a magistrate.
Herve Temime, an attorney for Depardieu, told AFP that he "was not informed" that the case was reopened for investigation and stated that he considers it to be a "non-event" and an "automatic decision" that was made based on French law. Elodie Tuaillon-Hibon, a lawyer for the anonymous alleged victim, spoke with AFP as well, saying that her client "renews her confidence in the courts, at whose disposal she stands." Depardieu has denied the allegations he faces.
Depardieu began his acting career in the late 1960s and eventually rose to a significant level of stardom after appearing in films such as Ridley Scott's 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Hamlet (1996), and The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), which also starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich and Gabriel Byrne. He was nominated for an Academy Award for playing Cyrano de Bergerac in a 1990 film named for the Parisian poet.
Throughout the years, Depardieu has been in news headlines for various other legal issues. In 2011, he was said to have urinated into a bottle while onboard an airplane in flight. The following year Depardieu had two instances that caused legal trouble. In one, he was accused of assaulting a motorist in Paris. Just a few months later that actor fell off of his scooter, and it was determined that he was intoxicated. Depardieu previously claimed that he could drink up to 14 bottles of wine a day, but in 2016 he stated that he no longer drinks alcohol.