French star Gerard Depardieu denies alleged sex assaults

French star Gerard Depardieu denies alleged sex assaults

French star Gerard Depardieu denies alleged sex assaults

French actor Gérard Depardieu has been accused of rape by a 22-year-old actress.

The Paris public prosecutor's office opened a preliminary inquiry into allegations against Mr Depardieu, famous for his role in countless films from "Green Card" to "Asterix", following a complaint lodged on Monday, a judicial source confirmed.

"Gerard Depardieu denies any wrongdoing".

The Russian reaction to the allegations against Depardieu echo the country's responses to the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment charges. The two met when Depardieu led a master class at her school, BFM TV reported.

Described as a controversial and larger-than-life character, Depardieu became the face of French cinema and won best actor at the Cannes film festival and was nominated for an Oscar. The case was then taken to prosecutors in Paris.

Depardieu, one of France's best-known film actors, was given Russian citizenship in 2013 by the president, Vladimir Putin, after publicly criticising France's high taxes and taking up residence overseas.

The 69-year-old French actor denies any wrongdoing.

Hervé Temime, a lawyer for the actor, is sure of Depardieu's innocence.

Once described by actress Brigitte Fossey as "both an ogre and a poet", Depardieu worked under directors ranging from Bernardo Bertolucci, Andrzej Wajda, Jean-Luc Godard and Ridley Scott.

Depardieu has appeared in 200 films over six decades and holds a rare position as a French actor who is known in Hollywood. He gained worldwide recognition after starring in the 1990 film Green Card.

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