Gérard Depardieu has been charged with raping a young actress three years ago as the two rehearsed the scene of a play in his Paris apartment, according to a report.

The 72-year-old French actor was indicted in December in connection with the assault, which allegedly occurred in 2018 when the victim was 22, a judicial source told Agence France-Presse.

The Paris public prosecutor's office launched an investigation into the unidentified French actress' claims in August 2018.

But after nine months, the case was dropped for lack of evidence.

It was reopened late last year after the woman refiled her complaint, the Guardian reported.

A source told AFP that the French superstar is a friend of the woman's family.

The alleged attack reportedly occurred as the two were rehearsing a scene of a play - but the source told AFP that "there was nothing professional about the encounter."

Depardieu, who earned an Oscar nomination in 1991 for his role in Cyrano de Bergerac, has denied the allegations.

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French actor Gerard Depardieu has been charged with rape. Picture: AFP/Jean Christophe Magnenet
French actor Gerard Depardieu has been charged with rape. Picture: AFP/Jean Christophe Magnenet

His lawyer, Herve Temime, said the actor remains free but under judicial supervision - and "completely rejects the accusations."

Elodie Tuaillon-Hibon, who represents the alleged victim, said she hopes her client's "private sphere will be respected" as the criminal case unfolds.

Depardieu, who holds both French and Russian citizenship, is one of France's most recognisable stars but also enjoys fame in the US from his roles in Green Card and The Man in the Iron Mask.

He is reportedly worth more than $250 million.

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Depardieu in the 1990 film Cyrano de Bergerac.
Depardieu in the 1990 film Cyrano de Bergerac.

He won the Golden Globe for best actor with Green Card, a romantic comedy from 1990 that also starred Andie MacDowell.

Described as having a larger-than-life personality, Depardieu is known for stirring controversy, including in 2013, when he decried his native country for its proposed tax on millionaires.

That prompted him to seek citizenship in Russia, which was granted.

In 2011, he made headlines for urinating in front of passengers on a plane when the flight crew refused to let him use the bathroom.

 

 

Depardieu was married to fellow French actress Elisabeth Guignot for 25 years before their divorce in 1996. He's also been linked to actress Carole Bouquet and, most recently, novelist Clémentine Igou.

This story originally appeared on Page Six and has been reproduced here with permission

Originally published as Oscar-nominated actor charged with rape

Depardieu with Andie MacDowell in a scene from film Green Card.
Depardieu with Andie MacDowell in a scene from film Green Card.