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Gerard Depardieu

Gérard Depardieu to go to trial over alleged sexual assaults, prosecutor says


PARIS — French screen legend Gérard Depardieu will be tried next October for alleged sexual assaults against two women during a 2021 film shoot, the Paris public prosecutor said on Monday.

Depardieu, one of France's top movie stars, has been at the center of a growing number of sexual assault allegations in recent years that have tarnished his legacy and exposed broader divisions about sexual conduct in France.

The public prosecutor said the actor was also indicted for another case, dating back to August 2018, of alleged sexual assault and rape. The judge closed investigations on that case and has handed it over to the Paris public prosecutor.

Following a police detainment in France, French actor Gérard Depardieu will be tried next October for alleged sexual assaults against two women.

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Depardieu was detained for questioning on Monday in connection with the alleged sexual assaults, police sources said.

Lawyers for Depardieu, who has consistently denied wrongdoing, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Two senior police sources told Reuters that Depardieu was being held at a police station in Paris' 14th arrondissement for questioning. One of his lawyers, Christian Saint-Palais, later told BFM TV that the actor had been released without charge.

Investigators are probing alleged groping by Depardieu on two film sets, with one alleged case in 2014 and the other in 2021, one of the sources said.

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Paris police and the public prosecutor's office both declined to comment.

Depardieu's case has become a dividing line in French society, with some women viewing him as a symbol of the country's inability to tackle sexual abuse by powerful men in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Others, including French President Emmanuel Macron and several well-known actors, have rallied to his defense.

"He's an immense actor, a genius of his art," Macron said late last year. "He makes France proud."

Reporting by Reuters' Paris newsroom. Additional reporting by Tassilo Hummel and Juliette Jabkhiro, writing by Gabriel Stargardter, editing by Nick Macfie and Tomasz Janowski.

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