About 50 French entertainment personalities have signed an open letter against the public “lynching” and sacking of Gerard Depardieu following multiple allegations of sexual assault and one of rape.
Signatories include former first lady, top model and musician Carla Bruni, as well as popular actors Charlotte Rampling, Carole Bouquet, Nathalie Bay and Pierre Richard.
The signatories said they did not wish to comment on the allegations against Depardieu, but could not remain silent in the face of the backlash against the actor in recent weeks.
“We are artists, writers and film producers. It is in this capacity that we express ourselves here,” reads the letter published in Le Figaro newspaper on Christmas Day.
“We don’t want to get into a debate and let the judicial system do its job. Gerard Depardieu is perhaps one of the greatest actors ever. One of the last sacred icons of cinema. We cannot be silent in the face of the backlash against him, the flood of hatred that pours upon him without nuance, with the utmost confusion and contempt for the presumption of innocence, which he would have benefited from if it were not for the giant of cinema that he is.
“When someone persecutes Gerard Depardieu in this way, art is under attack. Through his acting genius, Gerard Depardieu participated in the artistic influence of our country. He contributes to the history of art in the highest way. He is part of that history and continues to enrich it. France owes him a lot for that. Cinema and theater cannot pass up his unique personality.”
The open letter comes just five days after French President Emmanuel Macron also defended Depardieu in a television interview.
Depardieu commented on the open letter in a phone interview with French radio station RTL on December 26.
He said he was not involved in the initiative, but revealed that the letter was written by a friend of his daughter Julie Depardieu, writer Yanis Eziad, who sent it to him before making it public.
“They gave me the letter… I found it very beautiful, so I told the author that he can publish it,” the actor said.
Depardieu’s star has plummeted in France in recent weeks after the airing of the investigative show on state broadcaster France 2w Further investigation on Dec. 7, examining historic allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior against him.
The show followed a special report by news website Médiapart last April detailing allegations by 13 women, as well as two other allegations reported by French radio station France Inter over the summer.
Before Mediaport’s report, actress Charlotte Arnold became the first woman to file a formal complaint against Depardieu in 2018, accusing him of rape. The case is currently going through the courts.
The Further investigation The report revealed that a second woman, French actress Hélène Darras, also filed a complaint against Depardieu in September related to events on the set of the 2007 dance comedy. disco.
The show also revealed footage of Depardieu speaking inappropriately to a young interpreter during a trip to North Korea.
It also features an interview with France Télévisions head of development Alduy, in which he explains that the network has stopped greenlighting projects with Depardieu due to the growing allegations against the actor, but will continue to air his previous work.
A third woman, Spanish journalist Ruth Baza, has reportedly filed a formal complaint against the actor in Spain over an incident that occurred during an interview in Paris in 1995, when she was 23, after the broadcast on the show.
It has not yet been confirmed whether the latest two complaints will be formally investigated by the judiciary.