Actor Gérard Depardieu accused of rape

Gerard Depardieu

Gerard Depardieu

French actor Gérard Depardieu has been accused of rape by a 22-year-old actress.

The allegations against the 69-year-old were formally made to police by a 22-year-old French actress on Monday, French radio reports. A lawyer for Depardieu told AFP that the actor "absolutely denies any attack, any rape".

The unnamed actress is accusing Depardieu of having assaulted and raped her at his Paris home on two occasions, on August 6 and August 13.

In the meantime, Depardieu and his legal team have released a statement denying the accusations against him. The two met when Depardieu led a master class at her school, BFM TV reported.

Depardieu, one of France's best-known film actors, was given Russian citizenship in 2013 by the president, Vladimir Putin, after publicly criticising France's high taxes and taking up residence overseas. The case was assigned to Paris prosecutors Wednesday.

Depardieu's lawyer, Herve Temime, has shot down her claims, stating he is convinced his client will be exonerated of any crime upon the completion of an investigation.

The actor, he said, was "shaken" by the allegations, which went against "everything he is and respects". "Men have been punished summarily, forced out of their jobs when all they did was touch someone's knee or try to steal a kiss". "But we are also clear-eyed enough not to confuse an awkward attempt to pick someone up with a sexual attack", the letter continued, CBS News reports.

Gerard is known for his performances in films like The Last Metro, Police, Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet and more recently, Ang Lee's Life Of Pi in 2012.

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