French authorities have dismissed the sexual assault complaint filed against Gérard Depardieu by French actress Hélène Darras due to the local statute of limitations.
Darras lodged the complaint, related to events on the set of the 2007 dance comedy Disco, with the Paris Prosecutor’s Office on September 10, 2023. The case was first reported by France 2’s investigative show Complément d’Enquête in teased extracts of an edition devoted to Depardieu and the multiple sexual misconduct allegations against him.
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In the show’s interview with Darras, she recounted how Depardieu hounded her on the set of Disco when she was a 26-year-old novice actress. She had a small role as a dance competition contestant in the comedy, directed by Fabien Onteniente and starring Franck Dubosc with Depardieu in a supporting role.
“He was unmanageable,” she said of Depardieu. “He looked at me as if I were a piece of meat. I was wearing a very tight dress [as her costume]. He came up to me and then passed his hand over my hips and buttocks.”
Darras said she had refrained from saying anything to the production at the time for fear of being ostracized by the film and TV profession.
“I was an extra. I hadn’t even finished theatre school. I wanted to be an actress and I didn’t want to be blacklisted at 26,” she told the show.
Depardieu has been hit by multiple sexual assault allegations in recent years, some dating back decades. Last year, investigative news website Médiapart published an in-depth report detailing allegations by 13 women. Another two allegations were reported by French radio station France Inter over the summer. In October, Depardieu published an open letter denying all the allegations against him in Le Figaro newspaper.
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