2 February 2024

Gérard Depardieu in El-Gouna (Egypt), October 24, 2020.

One same “mode of operation” suffered on many sets, inappropriate remarks and gestures likely to be qualified as sexual assault. In a survey published on Tuesday April 11, Mediapart reports the testimony of thirteen women claiming to have been victims of actor Gérard Depardieu, on the set of eleven films or series released between 2004 and 2022 or in external locations.

The 74-year-old French film star has already been indicted since December 2020 for rape and sexual assault, following the complaint by actress Charlotte Arnould. The young woman accuses the actor of having raped her at his Parisian home, in a mansion on 6e capital district.

Three of the women confiding in Mediapart reportedly testified in court, but none filed a complaint. In question, advances the investigation site, the feeling that their word would weigh little against that of Gérard Depardieu, as well as the fear of the consequences on the rest of their career of any public denunciation.

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Over the stories transcribed by online media, the same “mode of operation” is described. Whether they are actresses, make-up artists or technicians, thirteen women claim to have suffered a hand in their panties, on their crotch, on their buttocks or on their chest; obscene sexual remarks, too, sometimes insistent grunting. And the same response from some witnesses when some dared to complain: “Oh it’s okay, it’s Gerard!” »

“I understood that he was not playing his character”

Solicited by Mediapart, Gérard Depardieu did not wish to meet the journalists or answer their written questions. Through the voice of his lawyers, within the firm Temime, the septuagenarian “formally denies all the charges likely to fall under criminal law”. During his hearings as part of the judicial inquiry, the actor had already defended himself from being ” a predator “. He described himself as a loving gentleman ” to court “, “opposed to all forms of violence, whether verbal, physical or psychological” And “extremely modest” on sexual matters.

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Among the testimonies reported by Mediapartfigure that of Lyla (her first name has been changed), 24 years old at the time, extra in 2014 on the film big house (2015), directed by Jean-Emmanuel Godart, in which Gérard Depardieu plays the boss of a brothel. “Without warning, Gérard Depardieu put his hand under my dress, I felt his fingers trying to sneak in to reach my panties”, she says to the investigation site. Uncomfortable, she says she has “rejected his hand”. “But he continued, he became aggressive, he tried to remove my panties and finger me: I understood that he was not playing his character. If I hadn’t stopped him, he would have succeeded.”she says.

A few years after the shooting, Lyla had consulted a lawyer, but she had not gone further, thinking that the facts were prescribed. In March, after the interview given to Mediapartshe decided to transmit his testimony to the French justice system, “to help Charlotte Arnould” : “I want to do my part as a woman in the same industry and refuse to be part of the problem by allowing such behavior by remaining silent. »

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