Allegations of rape against the actor Gerard Depardieu will reportedly be re-investigated by Paris prosecutors.
Agence France-Presse reports that an investigating magistrate was appointed in August to re-examine the claim of rape, according to The Independent.
On Wednesday, AFP was informed that the decision had formally been taken by a source close to the investigation. A judicial source also confirmed that the case had been re-opened.
Depardieu, 71, was accused of raping a 22-year-old actress in his Paris home in August 2018, as The Inquisitr reported at the time. The unnamed actress alleged that the Cyrano de Bergerac actor assaulted her twice while they were supposed to be holding rehearsal sessions.
When the allegations emerged, Depardieu denied the claims and maintained his innocence. Mr Depardieu's lawyer, Hervé Temime, said the actor was "shaken" by the claims, and that they went against "everything [the actor] is and respects," as the BBC reported.
After nine months of investigation, French prosecutors eventually dropped the case in 2019 due to lack of evidence.
"A number of investigations undertaken as part of this procedure have not enabled us to characterise the crimes alleged in all of their individual parts," the prosecutor's office noted in a statement.
In August of 2020, the actress -- now 24 -- relaunched proceedings by claiming to be an "injured party." Under French law, "injured parties" typically have their cases investigated by a magistrate.
Temime released a statement to AFP on the actor's behalf. Temime declared that he was not informed of the reopening of the investigation and called it a "non-event." He also asserted that this new development was an "automatic decision" based on French law.
A lawyer for the woman in question also spoke to AFP.
"She renews her confidence in the courts, at whose disposal she stands," her representative stated.
Depardieu has been a prominent figure in French cinema over his decades-long career, and is probably best known in his homeland for his roles in Cyrano de Bergerac and The Last Metro. He has also appeared in American films including Green Card, The Man in the Iron Mask and 102 Dalmatians, working with directors like Peter Weird, Ridley Scott and Ang Lee.
The actor currently holds both French and Russian citizenship, as he moved away from France in 2013 to protest a proposed tax hike on the rich in his homeland. He has also caused controversy in recent years by visiting North Korea, and attending a military parade in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square, as AP News reported.