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French actor Gerard Depardieu is below scrutiny over sexual remarks and gestures in new documentary

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PARIS — French actor Gerard Depardieu’s conduct towards girls got here below renewed scrutiny in France after a documentary confirmed him repeatedly making obscene remarks and gestures throughout a 2018 journey to North Korea.

The footage, filmed by knowledgeable crew that lined Depardieu’s go to in the course of the seventieth anniversary of North Korea’s formation, was included in an investigative documentary that aired Thursday on nationwide TV channel France 2. It had by no means been proven earlier than to the general public. Some excerpts shortly went viral on the social media.

Depardieu, 74, is amongst France’s most well-known stars. He was put below investigation in December 2020 for rape and sexual assault, reportedly at his Paris dwelling, following allegations from actor Charlotte Arnould in 2018. The investigation is ongoing.

Depardieu has denied any prison conduct.

Within the video recorded in North Korea by an unnamed video manufacturing firm, Depardieu will be seen making groaning sounds and sexual feedback in entrance of girls, together with a few 10-year {old} lady. He can be seen posing for a photograph whereas saying he was “touching the underside” of a North Korean interpreter by his facet.

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The documentary additionally options French comic Helene Darras, who accused Depardieu of touching her backside when she was a younger additional for the 2008 movie “Disco.” The Paris prosecutor’s workplace stated Thursday that Darras filed a grievance in opposition to Depardieu in September for alleged sexual assault.

In a quick telephone name with the journalists who labored on the documentary, Depardieu stated, “This complete factor is deeply bothering me” and declined an interview provide.

He printed an open letter in French newspaper Le Figaro newspaper in October that stated, “I wish to let you know the reality. I’ve by no means, ever abused a girl.”

About Arnould’s rape accusation, Depardieu wrote, “There has by no means been any coercion, violence or protest.”

“All my life, I’ve been provocative, outgoing, generally impolite. … I by no means meant to do any hurt, and I apologize for behaving like a toddler attempting to entertain the gang. However I’m not a rapist nor a predator,” he stated within the open letter.

Movie director Fabien Onteniente, who labored with Depardieu on “Disco,” stated in a Friday interview with French broadcaster France Information that he didn’t witness any misconduct by the actor on the time. Nevertheless, he stated he “noticed one thing” a couple of years later whereas making one other movie with Depardieu.

“So I had a personal dialog with him. I advised him that it’s inadmissible.” Onteniente stated. The director didn’t give any particulars concerning the alleged misbehavior however stated he determined to not do any extra tasks with Depardieu.

Movie director Marc Missonier says within the documentary that he had beforehand heard concerning the “inappropriate perspective” of Depardieu.

“We will say that the French cinema world didn’t ignore the problematic conduct of Gerard Depardieu,” he stated, including that the actor’s “standing” as a world-famous star had as soon as protected him.

French investigative information web site Mediapart earlier this yr printed data saying that Depardieu has been accused of harassing, groping or sexually assaulting 13 younger girls.

The France 2 documentary claims the variety of accusers now stands at 16.

French girls’s activism group Osez le feminisme, or Dare Feminism, denounced “rape tradition” and expressed its help to Arnould and others girls affected by Depardieu’s alleged misconduct. The group, which makes use of the hashtag #balancetonporc, which in English roughly interprets to “squeal in your pig”, has extensively been seen as serving to to create France’s model of the #MeToo motion.

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