Gérard Depardieu in Police Custody Over Sexual Assault Allegations

Actor Gérard Depardieu was taken into police custody in France on Monday after two women made accusations of sexual assault, local reports say.

The claims against the 75-year-old relate to his alleged actions during the making of one film in 2014 and another in 2021, according to BFMTV. Depardieu has previously been accused by more than a dozen other women of sexual harassment and assault—he has consistently denied the allegations.

One of the complaints about which the actor now faces questions relates to the making of The Green Shutters, which was released in 2022. The accuser, a 53-year-old set designer, alleges that Depardieu grabbed her with his legs and began touching her inappropriately. A witness allegedly stepped in to free the woman from his grasp.

The other case stems from 2014 during the making of a short film, Le Magicien et Les Siamois. Shortly before shooting began, he allegedly groped a 24-year-old production assistant at his home in Paris and made obscene comments. He then allegedly groped her again and made more sexually explicit remarks once filming had started.

The new questioning comes following Depardieu’s preliminary charges for rape and sexual assault in 2020. The charges stemmed from allegations made by actress Charlotte Arnould, who first made a claim against him in 2018. That case remains open.

Depardieu’s lofty reputation as one of France’s most prolific—and most revered—film stars has come under scrutiny in recent years amid the flurry of allegations. Dozens of French artists have come to his defense, while French President Emmanuel Macron sparked controversy in December by saying Depardieu “makes France proud” and is being targeted by a “manhunt.”

In October, Depardieu wrote an open letter in which he denied all wrongdoing. “I have never, ever abused a woman,” he wrote. “Hurting a woman would be like kicking my own mother in the stomach.”

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