ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Gérard Depardieu
Gérard Depardieu is publicly speaking out after being charged with rape and sexual assault in France for an incident that allegedly took place in 2018.
The 72-year-old French actor spoke to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica on Thursday, denying that he raped a young actress at his home, via the AFP.
"I am innocent and I have nothing to fear," he said. "For me the investigation was closed, I am innocent and I have nothing to fear."
Depardieu added, "There is no proof, there is nothing against me."
"I can only refute in very clear terms all the accusations, as I have already done before to the investigators," the actor said, adding he would appear in a French court on March 10.
The Green Card star was formally charged in December after a young unnamed actress, then 22, alleged Depardieu raped and assaulted her in his Paris home in August 2018, the AFP reports, citing a judicial source.
The case was closed in 2019 due to lack of evidence but reopened in the summer of 2020, according to the French outlet.
On Tuesday, Depardieu's lawyer, Hervé Témime told the AFP that the actor "totally disputes the accusations."
The actor told La Repubblica he was "very puzzled about the decision to reopen the investigation."
"I find the media coverage of the case terrible. We live in an era dominated by a continuous and ruthless flow of information," he said. "With all these streaming channels, the new means of communication, the websites, the social networks, it is as if we are living with a headset that constantly transmits negative and often false and biased news."
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He added, "I hate it all."
The charges against Depardieu initially surfaced in August 2018, with the woman claiming the incidents occurred on August 7 and 13. She made her complaint against the actor on August 27.
At the time, Témime denounced the allegations, saying, "Gérard Depardieu absolutely contests any aggression, any rape."
The woman's lawyer, Elodie Tuaillon-Hibon, told the AFP she hoped her client's "private sphere will be respected" as the case unfolds.
Depardieu is a well-known figure in French cinema and has worked on about 245 films and TV shows, including Going Places, The Man in the Iron Mask, Life of Pi and Last Holiday.
He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for 1990's Cyrano de Bergerac.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.