French Actor Gérard Depardieu Accused of Rape

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Depardieu, a controversial, larger-than-life character is one of the most recognizable actors in France.

French media said the complaint had been lodged by a 22-year-old French actress.

Depardieu's lawyer Herve Temime told CNN's affiliate BFMTV that his client was "shocked" by the accusation and "totally denies any assault, any rape and any criminal act".

Gerard was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor back in 1991 for his work in Cyrano de Bergerac. "The case was passed on to the Paris prosecutor", the source told Reuters. He has agreed to cooperate with the investigation, according to his lawyer. The two met when Depardieu led a master class at her school, BFM TV reported.

Gerard Depardieu waves as he arrives during a red carpet event for the movie "Novecento- Atto Primo" at the 74th Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Italy September 5, 2017.

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Depardieu was "shaken" by the "groundless" accusations, Temime said. In January, Catherine Deneuve and 99 other French women signed an open letter published in Le Monde, saying the Me Too movement was going too far and promoted a new "puritanism" against French traditions.

Women are "sufficiently aware that the sexual urge is by its nature wild and aggressive".

Mr Depardieu's accuser is an actress and author who knew the actor before the alleged crimes took place.

Depardieu, 69, is one of France's global film icons and an Oscar-nominee for his role in 1990's Cryano de Bergrac.

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