French actor Gérard Depardieu has made his first public comment on allegations of rape and sexual assault against him.
In his lengthy letter written in a literary style, he 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 in the letter published in Le Figaro’s opinion pages.
In December 2020, he was placed under formal investigation for allegedly attacking a 22-year-old actor at his home in 2018. His lawyer denied the allegations, but the case was not dropped due to “serious and confirmed evidence.”
In his letter, he claimed any encounter with the 22-year-old was consensual, writing that the woman “willingly came up to my bedroom. She says today she was raped. She returned a second time. There was never constraint, violence or protest between us.”
“Never, ever have I abused a woman,” he asserted in his letter.
He also addressed the scrutiny by the media regarding the allegations, “To the media court, to the lynching that has been reserved for me, I have only my word to defend myself.”
Back in April, multiple women accused Depardieu of sexual violence dating back to the early 2000s. Despite these allegations, Depardieu, a renowned actor, has continued working in French cinema. The investigation is ongoing.