Actor Gerard Depardieu accused of rape

Actor Gerard Depardieu accused of rape

"The Paris public prosecutor's office is making a preliminary investigation on counts of rape and sexual assault", the spokesman said.

"I had a long meeting with Gérard Depardieu and I am absolutely convinced his innocence will be established", Depardieu's attorney told France Info, adding that his client is "shaken" and that rape and sexual assault go against everything the actor "is and respects".

A lawyer said the French film star denies the allegations. The case was assigned to Paris prosecutors Wednesday.

According to a French media report, the allegations come from a 22-year old French actress.

"He will obviously participate in the investigation and answer the questions", Temime said.

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Besson's lawyer called the second allegation "fantasist accusations" and said the director denied any "inappropriate or reprehensible behavior".

Le Parisien reports the actress told police she had been assaulted by the actor twice this month at Depardieu's home in Paris. The two met when Depardieu led a master class at her school, BFM TV reported.

Depardieu, a controversial, larger-than-life character is one of the most recognizable actors in France. Jeremy Piven, Dustin Hoffman, and Morgan Freeman have also found themselves at the centre of misconduct claims in Hollywood's #MeToo anti-harassment era, while Kevin Spacey and Italian actress Asia Argento are now under investigation amid accusations of sexual assault and inappropriate behaviour.

Depardieu has appeared in 200 films over six decades and holds a rare position as a French actor who is known in Hollywood.