Entertainment Rape accusation: French justice calls for an investigation of...

Rape accusation: French justice calls for an investigation of Depardieu

French justice has asked an examining magistrate to investigate the rape accusations against Gérard Depardieu, who disputes them, after having initially closed the procedure, AFP learned on Saturday from the public prosecutor.

• Read also: The investigation for rape and sexual assault targeting Depardieu closed

To relaunch the investigations, the complainant, an actress in her twenties, had filed a complaint with the constitution of civil party after this classification without follow-up in the spring of 2019.

Complaints with the constitution of a civil party make it possible almost automatically to obtain the opening of a judicial investigation and the appointment of an investigating magistrate.

On Friday, the Paris prosecutor’s office made requisitions for the purpose of informing the count of rape, he said. It is now for the investigating judge to decide whether or not to launch investigations, which he does in almost all cases.

The complainant “wishes that justice, and in particular the judicial authorities (…) can do their work calmly and in peace”, reacted in a statement to AFP her lawyer Me Elodie Tuaillon-Hibon, regretting that the preliminary investigation was “inexplicably dismissed”.

Contacted by AFP, Gérard Depardieu’s lawyer, Me Hervé Témime, declined to comment on this information.

In June 2019, the prosecution concluded its preliminary investigation after nine months, explaining that “the numerous investigations carried out” had “not made it possible to characterize the offenses denounced in all their constituent elements”.

A first complaint was filed at the end of August 2018 at the gendarmerie of Lambesc (Bouches-du-Rhône) by this young actress. According to the latter, the facts she denounces took place at the star’s Parisian home, a mansion in the 6th arrondissement, on August 7 and 13, 2018.

The Aix-en-Provence prosecutor’s office immediately opened a preliminary investigation before relinquishing it in favor of the Paris prosecutor’s office, which had entrusted the investigations to the 3rd district of the judicial police (DPJ).

The 71-year-old actor, sacred monster of the cinema, had been heard in open hearing by the police. He is one of the French personalities to have been targeted by a complaint for rape or sexual assault since the fall of the American producer Harvey Weinstein in 2017.

The #MeToo wave then swept beyond the world of cinema, notably affecting the worlds of politics and sport.

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