Veteran French actor Gerard Depardieu will remain under formal investigation for alleged rape after losing an appeal.
The decision, which was announced on Thursday (March 10) by the Paris Court of Appeal, said it won’t drop Depardieu’s indictment, which stems from accusations of rape and sexual assault filed to authorities by Charlotte Arnould, an actor and dancer in her early 20’s, in August 2018. The case was initially dropped in 2019 following a lack of evidence, but was reopened in 2020.
Depardieu, who previously said through his lawyer that he “firmly rejected” Arnould’s accusations, has been under formal investigation since Dec. 16, 2020, and filed an appeal in May 2021.
“The Paris Court of Appeal considers that there remains, at this point, some grave and consistent clues that justify that Gerard Depardieu remains indicted,” said the Paris chief prosecutor Remy Heitz in a statement sent to Variety. Following this investigation, the case will either be brought to trial or dismissed.
Arnould said she was raped by Depardieu on two occasions in August 2018 in his Paris home in the posh 6th district.
Contacted by Variety, Depardieu’s lawyer, Hervé Temime, whose clients include Roman Polanski, declined to comment. Arnould, who was present in the courtroom on March 10, declined to comment on the decision. Her lawyer Carine Durrieu-Diebolt told AFP that her client was “relieved.” She recently waived her right to anonymity and took to social media to say that she could no longer “live hidden in silence.”
The actor recently starred in Xavier Giannoli’s “Lost Illusions,” which won seven Cesar Awards. His credits also include Abel Ferrara’s 2014 film “Welcome to New York,” in which he stars as Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former French presidential hopeful whose downfall was prompted by a rape accusation.