Gérard Depardieu Accused of S-xual Assault by Set Designer

French Cinema Icon Embroiled in Mounting Legal Challenges

by Zain ul Abedin
Gérard Depardieu Accused of S-xual Assault by Set Designer
© Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Renowned French actor Gérard Depardieu is currently embroiled in another serious allegation of s-xual misconduct, marking a troubling addition to his existing legal troubles. The latest accusation comes from a set designer, known only as Amélie, aged 53, who has filed a legal complaint claiming she was s-xually harassed and assaulted by Depardieu during the filming of the 2022 movie "Les Volets Verts" (The Green Shutters) in Paris.

This incident reportedly occurred on September 10, 2021, and is the second allegation arising from the film's production, in which Depardieu stars alongside Anouk Grinberg and Fanny Ardant. Amélie, represented by lawyer Carine Durrieu Diebolt, described to the online newspaper Mediapart a disturbing encounter with Depardieu.

She alleges that the actor, while seated in a corridor, forcibly grabbed her and pinned her between his thighs with significant force, proceeding to inappropriately touch her waist, stomach, and breasts. The alleged assault was interrupted by the actor's bodyguard.

Despite the severity of the incident, Amélie initially refrained from pressing charges, not wanting to disrupt the film's production and release. Durrieu Diebolt, in a statement to BFM TV, explained that the trauma of the incident persisted for Amélie, particularly resurfacing after Depardieu publicly denied ever abusing a woman.

As a result of the alleged assault, Amélie has been unable to work, suffering from anxiety attacks and post-traumatic stress. The formal complaint, which includes allegations of s-xual assault, s-xist insult, and harassment, was filed with the Paris public prosecutor's office, awaiting a decision on whether to pursue legal action.

Depardieu's Escalating Troubles

This accusation adds to Depardieu's existing legal woes. In December 2020, he was put under investigation for the alleged rape and s-xual assault of actor Charlotte Arnould in 2018. Despite his claims of consensual encounters and attempts to dismiss the charges, a Paris court found substantial evidence to keep him charged.

The case is ongoing. Additionally, Mediapart's investigative report in April 2023 revealed that a dozen other women have accused Depardieu of s-xual misconduct. Among them, actor Hélène Darras accused him of abuse during the shooting of the 2007 film "Disco," but her case was closed due to the statute of limitations.

The allegations against Depardieu, a celebrated figure in French cinema with a career spanning over five decades, have polarized public opinion in France. Controversy peaked in December when 50 artists defended him in an open letter, leading to a counter-response from around 600 individuals advocating for support for s-xual abuse victims.

French President Emmanuel Macron has also commented, acknowledging Depardieu's status as a proud representative of French cinema while emphasizing the importance of the presumption of innocence amidst these allegations.