The iconic French actor is facing accusations of rape and sexual harassment
Over 50 French actors, writers, producers, and musicians have signed an open letter calling for an end to the “public lynching” of film legend Gerard Depardieu, who has been accused of rape and sexual harassment.
The letter comes after the release of a documentary film titled ‘Depardieu: The Fall of an Ogre’, which interviewed 16 women who alleged that the 74-year-old had harassed, groped, or sexually assaulted them. Depardieu has remained under investigation over an alleged rape since 2020, but denies the accusations against him.
In a letter published by Le Figaro on Monday – which was signed by 56 people, including actors Pierre Richard, Vincent Perez, Carole Bouquet, and singer Carla Bruni – French celebrities insisted that “justice should do its work” and that the “torrent of hatred” against Depardieu should be stopped.
“Gerard Depardieu is probably the greatest of actors. The last big beast of cinema. We can no longer remain silent in the face of the lynching that fell upon him,” the signatories said. They further argued that public condemnation of the actor contradicted the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, which they said Depardieu should be afforded like any other person.
“When we attack Gerard Depardieu in this way, it is art that we attack,” the letter reads, arguing that the actor, who has starred in some 200 films, has made an immeasurable contribution to French history and culture throughout his life, for which the country is indebted to him.
The letter concludes with a call to “remember all the good that this man did,” stating that “no one will ever be able to erase” the actor’s mark on history. Everything else, according to the signees, should be handled exclusively by the justice system.
Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron also came out in support of Depardieu, stating he would not back the “manhunt” against the legendary actor. He also slammed French Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak for calling for Depardieu to be stripped of the Order of the Legion of Honor – France’s highest state award – stating it was “a bit too much.”
Following the release of the letter, some of those who signed it have also faced a backlash from women’s rights groups. That includes legendary actor Pierre Richard, who lost his position as an ambassador for the Les Papillons association, which works with child victims of violence.
December 26, 2023 at 10:50PM