PARIS. — Gerard Depardieu has denied rape and sexual assault allegations made against him, in an open letter published in a prominent French newspaper.

“Never, ever have I abused a woman,” the French actor wrote in the letter that appeared in Le Figaro.

“To the media court, to the lynching that has been reserved for me, I have only my word to defend myself,” the 74-year-old added.

The Green Card actor was placed under investigation for alleged rape in 2021.

A woman accused the actor of raping and assaulting her in Paris in August 2018.

Depardieu’s lawyer told French news agency AFP at the time that his client “totally dispute(d)” the allegation, and said the investigation should not have been made public.

Earlier this year, Depardieu was also accused of fresh allegations of sexual assault or harassment by 13 women, according to an investigation by French news website Mediapart.

A lawyer for the actor said he “formally denies all the charges which may fall under criminal law”.

In his lengthy letter published in Le Figaro’s opinion pages, Depardieu wrote: “I can no longer allow what I hear, what I have read about myself for several months. I thought I didn’t care, but no, actually no. This all gets to me. Worse still, it wipes me out.

“Hurting a woman would be like kicking my own mother in the stomach,” he continued.

He also suggested that the woman who accused him of rape came up to his room “of her own free will”.

Deadline reported that the lawyer for his accuser said she was “shocked and scandalised” by the letter in an interview with French radio station France Info on Monday morning.

“Mr. Depardieu says he is exposing his truth, but… it will certainly not be the one that will be upheld by the courts,” she said. —BBC.

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