Thirteen women are alleging sexual assault or harassment against actor Gerard Depardieu, according to reports.
An investigation by French news website Mediapart revealed complaints that Depardieu, 74, put his hand in the women's underwear and groped them in incidents over two decades that took place on film and TV sets or in public places.
A lawyer for the Oscar- and BAFTA-nominated actor said he "formally denies all the charges which may fall under criminal law," according to the BBC.
In the investigation, one extra on a film set accused Depardieu of putting his hand under her dress and trying to "slip in to get to my knickers." He reportedly grew aggressive when she pushed his hand away and tried again, the woman said.
Another woman described Depardieu as having a "wandering hand," claiming he "grabbed [me] by my waist" between takes and "ended up putting his hand on my bum in an insistent way."
One woman stated that, during a crowd scene, Depardieu tried to "put his hand on my genitals." In a separate incident, he allegedly grabbed the woman from behind and "rubbed my hips, stomach and breasts."
It is reported that no action was taken on the film sets and that Depardieu's alleged behavior was even met with laughter.
As one actress, who was 17 at the time, said, "Adults let an actor fondle my breasts in front of everyone."
As of Wednesday, the Paris prosecutor's office had "not received any new complaint to date," according to the report.
Two years ago, Depardieu was placed under criminal investigation for rape, which he has denied. According to The Associated Press, the charges relate to allegations made by an actor in her 20s that date to 2018. An initial inquiry against Depardieu was dropped in 2019 because of lack of evidence, but was later revived.
Zoe Papadakis ✉
Zoe Papadakis is a Newsmax writer based in South Africa with two decades of experience specializing in media and entertainment. She has been in the news industry as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers, magazine and websites.
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