Prosecutors in Paris ask for actor Gerard Depardieu rape case to be reopened

Depardieu poses during a photo call on February 18, 2018 for the second season of the French TV show “Marseille” broadcasted and co-produced by Netflix, in Marseille, southern France. (AFP)

Paris prosecutors said Saturday they had asked for an investigation into rape allegations against French actor Gerard Depardieu to be reopened after an earlier probe was dropped last year.

An actress in her 20s accuses Depardieu of assaulting and raping her in his Paris home in August 2018.

After she reported her allegations against the celebrated actor - who is 71 and who denies any wrongdoing - prosecutors in the southern city of Aix-en-Provence opened a preliminary investigation which they then passed on to their Paris colleagues.

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The Paris probe was dropped after nine months in early 2019 after investigators failed to assemble enough proof to proceed to formal charges.

But now the actress has relaunched proceedings by acting as an “injured party” which under French law almost always leads to a case being examined by an investigating magistrate.

Depardieu’s lawer, Herve Temime, declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

Depardieu, who is a superstar in France thanks to films like “Cyrano de Bergerac,” “Jean de Florette” and “Camille Claudel,” has also had a successful international career, working among others with Peter Weir in “Green Card” and with Ridley Scott in “1492.”

He holds French and Russian citizenship.

Last Update: Saturday, 01 August 2020 KSA 18:25 - GMT 15:25