Designer lodges sexual assault complaint against Depardieu

Designer lodges sexual assault complaint against Depardieu

PARIS--A formal complaint of sexual harassment and sexual assault has been lodged against Gerard Depardieu by a crew member of a film they worked on together, the complainant's lawyer said, in the latest in a string of allegations against the French actor. The complaint was filed on Friday, lawyer Carine Durrieu-Diebolt said in an e-mailed statement on Monday. The Paris prosecutor's office said it had not yet received the complaint, while the actor's lawyers and agent did not immediately respond to a phone and email request for comment. Durrieu-Diebolt was confirming a report from French news outlet Mediapart, which earlier said the events took place during the filming of "Les Volets verts" in 2021, in which Depardieu stars alongside actress Anouk Grinberg. The complainant, a 53-year-old set designer, told Mediapart the actor had groped her. In the statement, Durrieu-Diebolt said the "modus operandi" was similar to that described by about 20 other women who had testified against the actor, saying "the events lead to harm and a lasting psychological impact for the victims." Depardieu, a household name in France, has been at the centre of a growing number of sexual assault allegations. In 2022, investigative magistrates placed him under formal investigation on suspicion of rape and sexual assault of 28-year-old actress Charlotte Arnould. The actor, through his lawyers, has previously denied wrongdoing and "firmly rejected" accusations against him. His Legion d'Honneur medal, France's highest decoration, has also been placed under review, following the allegations. However, French President Emmanuel Macron and dozens of prominent figures, including actress Nathalie Baye and singer and former first lady Carla Bruni, have rallied to his defence. More than 50 cultural figures penned an open letter, published in conservative daily Le Figaro last year, saying he had been the recipient of a "torrent of hatred" and the victim of a public "lynching".

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