"The silence of this milieu is deafening, demeaning to our art, and must stop.” The Depardieu affair continues, with a damning new testimony...
Accused by several women of sexual violence, French actor Gérard Depardieu has been indicted for rape and sexual assault.
Depardieu, 74, broke his silence in an open letter on 1 October, saying in French newspaper Le Figaro that he was the victim of a lynching orchestrated by a “media court”.
“Never, ever have I abused a woman,” wrote Depardieu, adding: “To the media court, to the lynching that has been reserved for me, I have only my word to defend myself.”
It was the first time Depardieu has personally commented after a series of allegations.
In December 2020, he was placed under formal investigation for alleged rape and sexual assault after actress Charlotte Arnould accused him of having attacked her on two occasions at his home in Paris in 2018, when she was 22 and he was 70.
Now, more people are taking a stand on the case, including French actress Anouk Grinberg (La Nuit du 12, L'innocent), who has delivered an exclusive testimony in Elle published today (Thursday 12 October).
Grinberg, 60, made two films with the actor and was the companion of one of his great friends, Bertrand Blier.
"Depardieu was part of my daily life. When he says in that letter that he's never assaulted a woman, I've seen him do it all this time! Verbally, physically. I've seen him put his hands on women's buttocks, touch their breasts and sex, all the while joking. I've heard him talk all day about their molds, how he'd like to suck them. All day long! And nobody ever said a word!" said Grinberg.
Breaking the omerta and wishing to denounce the lack of reaction from the French film world, she explains her decision to speak out: "I can't keep quiet any longer. Anyone who has worked with Depardieu in the film industry knows that he assaults women, and the silence of this milieu is deafening, demeaning to our art, and must stop.”
Depardieu has continued to work prolifically in French cinema in recent years despite being placed under formal investigation for alleged rape.
Referring to Gérard Depardieu’s article published on 1 October 1, she states: "All this affects me. Worse still, it extinguishes me." She goes on to say that it is, above all, an "insult to the victims who suffer for years because of his deviant behavior."
When asked about her presence in a film with Depardieu in 2020 (Les volets verts), she says that she did so "while holding my nose". But "every day I heard him spout his sexual garbage to the other women on the set".
Gérard Depardieu has been implicated by the testimonies of 13 women accusing him of sexual violence, published in April by Mediapart.
The actor's lawyer said Depardieu denied the allegations and, after an attempt by Depardieu’s lawyers to get the case dropped, the Paris chief prosecutor said there was “serious and confirmed evidence” that justified maintaining the charges.
The investigation continues.