AceShowbiz - French actor Gerard Depardieu has been formally charged with rape.
The "Green Card" star, 72, is accused of sexually assaulting a young actress at his Paris apartment in 2018 when she was 22.
Authorities filed the count against the actor in December (20) but the news has only just surfaced, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Depardieu faced a criminal investigation over the claims shortly after the alleged attack took place, but the case was dropped by officials in 2019.
However, the unidentified woman, whose family is said to be friends with Depardieu, refiled her complaint as an "injured party" last year (20), requesting prosecutors take another look at the case as allowed under French law.
Depardieu's lawyers previously dismissed the claims as "groundless" and now legal representative Herve Temime has reiterated his client's innocence, telling AFP he "completely rejects the accusations."
Back in 2018, the actor's lawyer was quick to shoot down the allegations when the woman first came forward with her claims. "I had a long meeting with Gerard Depardieu and and I am absolutely convinced his innocence will be established," he told France Info radio. "I regret the public nature of this process, which poses a major prejudice to Gerard Depardieu."
The actor is among the high-profile movie figures to be accused of rape and sexual assault amid the industry's effort to clean up its reputation for misogyny, misconduct, and harassment after movie mogul Harvey Weinstein fell from his grace.