Culture clash in France
Criminal charges against Gérard Depardieu dismissed

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A total of 13 women have accused Gérard Depardieu of sexual assault. The Paris public prosecutor's office has now dismissed a criminal complaint against the French actor. He has not yet been convicted in any of the cases.

A sexual harassment complaint against French actor Gérard Depardieu has been dismissed. According to the newspaper “Le Monde”, the Paris public prosecutor's office informed actress Hélène Darras on December 29, 2023 that her complaint against Depardieu, filed on September 10 last year, would not be pursued due to the statute of limitations. Darras accused the 75-year-old of groping her on the set of the film “Disco” in 2007.

According to RTL, Hélène Darras described the events during the filming of the film “Disco” in the program broadcast on the France 2 channel as follows: “I'm wearing an ultra-tight dress, he pulls me closer to him by the waist, then he leaves his hand sliding over my hips, on my ass.” Darras was 26 years old at the time.

The actress, who was involved in the film as a supporting actress, initially testified in an investigation initiated by actress Charlotte Arnould before she decided to press charges herself. The allegations became public through a documentary broadcast on French television in December 2023, which, among other things, shows Depardieu making lewd and sexist comments during a filming trip in North Korea. In France, this sparked a nationwide debate.

Macron refers to the presumption of innocence

Depardieu denies any wrongdoing in this and other cases. A total of 13 women have made allegations against him. He has not yet been found guilty in any of the proceedings. Spanish journalist Ruth Baza filed an official complaint in her home country against the actor, alleging that Depardieu attacked her during an interview in 1995.

A real culture war has broken out in France in recent weeks over the allegations against the national acting icon. For example, French Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak intends to revoke Depardieu's membership in the Legion of Honor. President Emmanuel Macron, however, sided with the actor and emphasized the presumption of innocence. Malak has now been replaced by her successor, Rachida Dati.

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