In an op-ed published by Le Figaro, 55 personalities from the cultural world expressed their support for Gérard Depardieu, who has been facing rape accusations since 2020. This act of solidarity has sparked a wave of mixed reactions.
"The last sacred monster of cinema," is how the signatories described Depardieu, denouncing a media "lynching" and a "torrent of hatred". They highlighted the importance of the presumption of innocence, a stance that was nonetheless criticized by several feminist associations.
Interviewed by RTL, Gérard Depardieu praised the initiative, calling it "very courageous". He appreciated the gesture, stating that he had given his consent for the publication of the letter.
Previously, Depardieu’s family had already denounced a "collective rage" in an op-ed, and even President Emmanuel Macron had referred to a "manhunt" in an interview.
The op-ed was signed by actors, actresses, writers, and other figures from the cultural milieu. Among them, Benoît Poelvoorde, Nathalie Baye, Carole Bouquet, Fanny Ardant, Nadine Trintignant, Charlotte Rampling, Carla Bruni, Emmanuelle Seigner, Arielle Dombasle, Victoria Abril and many others like reality TV star Afida Turner and erotic writer Catherine Millet. However, some, like actor Pierre Richard, were criticized for their participation.
Depardieu, under investigation since 2020, is at the heart of a scandal exacerbated by a documentary from France 2. His misogynistic and insulting remarks towards women and a young girl have been widely condemned and have had an international impact.