(Paris) French actor Gérard Depardieu’s behavior towards women has come under renewed scrutiny in France after a documentary showed him repeatedly making lewd remarks and gestures during a trip to North Korea in 2018.
The footage, filmed by a professional crew that covered Depardieu’s visit to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of North Korea, was included in an investigative documentary broadcast on national television channel France 2 on Thursday. had never been shown to the public before. Some excerpts quickly went viral on social media.
Depardieu, aged 74, is one of France’s best-known stars. He was investigated in December 2020 for rape and sexual assault, allegedly occurring at his Paris home following allegations by actress Charlotte Arnould in 2018. The investigation is ongoing.
Depardieu has denied any criminal conduct.
In the video recorded in North Korea by an unnamed video production company, Depardieu can be seen making moans and sexual comments in front of women, including a 10-year-old girl. He can also be seen posing for a photo while saying he was “touching the butt” of a North Korean interpreter next to him.
The documentary also shows French actress Hélène Darras, who accused Depardieu of touching her buttocks when she was a young extra for the 2008 film “Disco.” Paris prosecutors said Thursday that Darras filed a complaint against Depardieu in September for alleged sexual assault.
In a brief phone call with journalists who worked on the documentary, Depardieu said, “All of this disturbs me deeply” and declined an offer of an interview.
He published an open letter in the French newspaper Le Figaro in October in which he said: “I want to tell you the truth. I have never, ever abused a woman. »
Of Charlotte Arnould’s rape accusation, Depardieu wrote: “There was never any pressure, violence or protest. »
“All my life I have been provocative, extroverted, sometimes rude. […] I never meant any harm and I apologize for behaving like a child trying to entertain the crowd. But I am neither a rapist nor a predator,” he defended himself in the open letter.
Director Fabien Onteniente, who worked with Depardieu on the film Disco, said Friday in an interview with French channel France Info that he had not witnessed any misconduct by the actor at the time. ‘era. However, he said he “saw something” a few years later, while making another film with Depardieu.
“So I had a private conversation with him. I told him it was unacceptable,” Mr. Onteniente said. The director gave no details about the alleged misconduct, but indicated that he had decided not to do any more projects with Depardieu.
Director Marc Missonier claims in the documentary that he had already heard about Depardieu’s “inappropriate attitude.”
“We can say that the world of French cinema has not ignored the problematic behavior of Gérard Depardieu,” he said, adding that the actor’s “status” as a global star had already protected him .
French investigative news site Mediapart published reports earlier this year that Depardieu was accused of sexually harassing, touching or assaulting 13 young women.
The France 2 documentary claims that the number of accusers now stands at 16.
French women’s activist group Dare Feminism denounced “rape culture” and expressed support for Charlotte Arnould and other women affected by Depardieu’s alleged misconduct. The group, which uses the hashtag