A rape investigation against the French actor Gérard Depardieu will be reopened after his accuser refiled her complaint when prosecutors dropped a previous inquiry, sources close to the case have said.
The accuser, an actor in her 20s who accuses Depardieu, 71, of raping and assaulting her at his home in Paris in August 2018, refiled a complaint after prosecutors dropped the case in June 2019, citing a lack of evidence.
After she reported her allegations against the actor – who denies any wrongdoing – prosecutors in the southern city of Aix-en-Provence opened a preliminary investigation which they then passed on to their Paris colleagues.
The Paris probe was dropped after nine months. Investigators said they had failed to assemble enough proof to proceed to formal charges.
The accuser later refiled her claims, which under French law almost always leads to a case being examined by an investigating magistrate.
A source close to the investigation told AFP on Wednesday that the decision had now formally been taken. It was also confirmed by a judicial source.
Depardieu’s lawyer, Hervé Temime, said he had not been informed of the case’s reopening, but called it a “non-event, as it is an automatic decision” that an investigating magistrate be appointed.
Depardieu, a superstar in France thanks to films such as Cyrano de Bergerac, Jean de Florette and Camille Claudel, has also had a successful international career, working among others with Peter Weir in Green Card and with Ridley Scott in 1492.
He holds both French and Russian citizenship – acquiring the latter in 2013 in protest against a proposed tax increase on the rich in his homeland.