PICTURED: Gerard Depardieu back on set being charged with raping and sexually abusing an actress


French actor Gerard Depardieu is back working on the set of a new police drama in Paris – despite being charged with raping and sexually abusing a young actress in the city.

The 72-year-old was photographed on the banks of the River Seine last Friday, as he shot a scene from Maigret and the Dead Girl with co-star Jade Labeste, 25.

The sighting followed Paris prosecutors indicting Depardieu with attacking a 22-year-old actress who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The French media have reported that there is CCTV footage of Depardieu performing a sex act on his alleged victim in August 2018, but the actor says their relationship was consensual, and vehemently denies any wrongdoing.

In turn, it is reported that the complainant has told police she was raped and sexually assaulted twice in Depardieu’s £45million Paris mansion after visiting him, and receiving advice about her career.

French actor Gerard Depardieu (centre) is back working on the set of a new police drama in Paris – despite being charged with raping and sexually abusing a young actress in the city

The 72-year-old actor was photographed as he shot a scene from Maigret and the Dead Girl with co-star Jade Labeste (left), 25

The 72-year-old actor was photographed as he shot a scene from Maigret and the Dead Girl with co-star Jade Labeste (left), 25

The sighting of Depardieu on set followed Paris prosecutors indicting him with attacking a 22-year-old actress who cannot be named for legal reasons

The sighting of Depardieu on set followed Paris prosecutors indicting him with attacking a 22-year-old actress who cannot be named for legal reasons

On Sunday, Ms Labeste posted gushing praise on Instagram for Depardieu and the rest of the cast working on their new film, which is directed by Patrice Leconte, 73.

It read: ‘Tomorrow we begin the third week of filming ‘Maigret et la jeune morte’ (Maigret and the Dead Girl) with Gerard Depardieu, under the gaze of the tender and talented Patrice Leconte. Lots of laughs, lots of love with this wonderful team.’

Ms Labeste then used the hashtag #gerarddepardieu, in honour of the actor, who is not under any bail conditions as he awaits the next stage of the case against him.

Pictured: Depardieu on the set of Maigret and the Dead Girl

Pictured: Depardieu on the set of Maigret and the Dead Girl

News of the charges against Depardieu became public on Tuesday, but Ms Labeste’s supportive post remains on her Instagram page.

In the film, Depardieu plays the legendary Commissioner Jules Maigret – the fictional character created by Belgium writer Georges Simenon.

Maigret is a hardened detective inspector in the Paris Criminal Brigade – the same unit which originally investigated the Depardieu case in 2018.

Prosecutors in Paris have now confirmed that Depardieu, a divorced father-of-four whose long-term partner is the wine entrepreneur and novelist Clementine Igou, has been charged with ‘rapes’ and ‘sexual abuse’.

It follows a series of #MeToo complaints against powerful men in the Paris arts establishment who are said to have raped or otherwise abused young women working as actresses and models.

Other prominent individuals from the French film world accused of rape include the director Luc Besson, whose films include Nikita and The Fifth Element.

Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, one of France’s best known TV presenters, was this month accused of rape and Gerald Darmanin, France’s current Interior Minister, is also at the centre of a rape enquiry.

Accusations of rape have also been levelled against figures in the Paris fashion industry including former model scout Jean-Luc Brunel, who was a friend of the late convicted paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

Filming for Maigret and the Dead Girl takes place on the banks of the River Seine in Paris last Friday

Filming for Maigret and the Dead Girl takes place on the banks of the River Seine in Paris last Friday

Such scandals have led to demonstrations by women’s groups at high-profile show business events, as they call for female actors to stop working with allegedly abusive men. Those accused have denied any wrongdoing.

It has been reported that the CCTV relating to Depardieu was retrieved from his mansion on the Left Bank during a nine-month investigation that started in September 2018.

‘The accused got to know the complainant,’ an investigating source told the French media.

‘In August 2018 the accused was giving the complainant advice about her career as an actress, and she visited him at his Paris home.

‘There are lots of text messages between the two – they were in regular contact, discussing all kinds of matters.

‘It was on August 7 that the complainant says she was first raped. Video footage in the accused’s house shows them sitting and talking, and then a sex act was filmed.

The French media have reported that there is CCTV footage of Depardieu (pictured) performing a sex act on his alleged victim in August 2018, but the actor says their relationship was consensual, and vehemently denies any wrongdoing

The French media have reported that there is CCTV footage of Depardieu (pictured) performing a sex act on his alleged victim in August 2018, but the actor says their relationship was consensual, and vehemently denies any wrongdoing 

Depardieu has been in a relationship with wine entrepreneur Clementine Igou (left) since meeting in 2004 Clementine Igou. Pictured: The couple at a film premier in May 2007

Depardieu has been in a relationship with wine entrepreneur Clementine Igou (left) since meeting in 2004 Clementine Igou. Pictured: The couple at a film premier in May 2007

‘The pair made their way upstairs to a bedroom, one after the other, but there was no camera inside the bedroom.’

At the time, the complainant was suffering from Tetany – a medical condition caused by low blood calcium that causes spasms and cramps, said the source.

The complainant has told police that she was ‘ill and confused’ about what was happening, and ‘in a state of denial’ returned to Depardieu’s home on August 13, when a second rape allegedly took place.

‘It was two weeks later that she told her mother about what had happened, and then she went to police,’ said the investigating source.

Beyond the reported CCTV footage, evidence is also said to include ‘disturbing text messages’, in which Depardieu is said to have referenced the late French singer Monique Serf, who was known as Barbara, and who was sexually abused by her father.

The original investigation included a joint hearing of Depardieu and his alleged victim, but it was dropped by Paris prosecutors on June 4 2019 due to a lack of evidence.

On Wednesday, Depardieu's lawyer, Herve Temime said: 'I'm convinced that at the end of this investigation, Gerard Depardieu will be exonerated of all guilt. Pictured: Depardieu with Marion Cotillard (right) as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose

On Wednesday, Depardieu’s lawyer, Herve Temime said: ‘I’m convinced that at the end of this investigation, Gerard Depardieu will be exonerated of all guilt. Pictured: Depardieu with Marion Cotillard (right) as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose

Depardieu is currently free on bail as the legal proceedings against him continue. Pictured: Depardieu (centre) with John Malkovich (left) and Jeremy Irons (right) in The Man with the Iron Mask

Depardieu is currently free on bail as the legal proceedings against him continue. Pictured: Depardieu (centre) with John Malkovich (left) and Jeremy Irons (right) in The Man with the Iron Mask

But the complainant filed a second complaint in August 2020, leading to Depardieu’s indictment last December.

On Wednesday, Depardieu’s lawyer, Herve Temime said: ‘I’m convinced that at the end of this investigation, Gerard Depardieu will be exonerated of all guilt.

‘If there is a case where the presumption of innocence has more meaning than ever, it is this one,’ said Mr Temime.

Mr Temime said his client was now free on bail, and was ‘sorry that this information [about the case] has been made public.’

The complainant’s lawyer, Elodie Tuaillon-Hibon, said that she hoped her client’s ‘private sphere will be respected’ as the case unfolds.

Depardieu, who became an international star with films such as Green Card and Cyrano de Bergerac. Pictured: Depardieu with Anne Brochet in Cyrano de Bergerac

Depardieu, who became an international star with films such as Green Card and Cyrano de Bergerac. Pictured: Depardieu with Anne Brochet in Cyrano de Bergerac

Depardieu, who became an international star with films such as Green Card and Cyrano de Bergerac, tried to sell his Paris mansion in 2012, but was unable to do so because of the high price.

He divorced his first wife, the actress Elisabeth Guignot, in 1996 after they had two children, Guillaume and Julie. Guillaume died in 2008, aged 37.

While separated from Guignot, Depardieu had a daughter named Roxanne, with model Karine Silla in 1992. His 14-year-old son, Jean Depardieu, is the result of a relationship with the jewellery designer Helene Bizot.

He met his current partner Ms Igou, a 41-year-old Harvard University graduate, in Italy in 2004, when they bonded over their mutual love of wine. Ms Igou has not yet commented on the rape allegations. 

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