Gerard Depardieu: Museum removes actor waxwork amid sexual assault allegations

Gerard Depardieu attends the "Der Geschmack der kleinen Dinge (Umami)" Premiere at Cinema Paris on January 12, 2023 in Berlin, Germany.
Image caption,Gerard Depardieu has been nominated for one Oscar and two Bafta Awards

A French museum has removed a waxwork of actor Gerard Depardieu following allegations of rape and sexual assault.

The Grevin Museum removed the statue “following the negative reactions of visitors” passing in front of it.

The French star was placed under judicial investigation on suspicion of rape and sexual assault in 2020.

Depardieu was also accused in April of sexual assault or harassment by 13 women. He has strenuously denied all of the allegations

A life-size representation of one of France’s best-known actors, 74, had been on display at the Parisian wax museum since 1981.

The museum’s management also said there had been negative comments on social media about the waxwork.

A television documentary released in December included footage of the actor making obscene and sexist remarks about women which has thrown the allegations back into the limelight and reignited a debate about sexism in French cinema.

In footage apparently taken from the documentary’s “making of”, the actor repeatedly embarrasses his female interpreter with comments such as: “I weigh 124 kilos. Without an erection. With an erection, I’m 126 kilos.”

Paris prosecutors are also investigating the apparent suicide of actress Emmanuelle Debever, 60, who alleged she was sexually assaulted decades ago by Gérard Depardieu.

Prosecutors said the cause of her death was being investigated due to “media reports” of complaints she made against the actor in 2019 when she alleged on Facebook that Depardieu had fondled her while they were shooting the film Danton in 1982.

There is no suggestion that any crime has been committed.

On Sunday, Depardieu’s family said there was an “unprecedented conspiracy” against him.

Emmanuelle Debever
Image caption,Emmanuelle Debever died on 7 December

The Oscar and Bafta-nominated actor is known for films including Jean de Florette, Green Card and Cyrano de Bergerac.

Depardieu was one of around 250 French and international personalities represented at the Grevin Museum.

Others have included French football icon Zinedine Zidane and French actor Omar Sy, as well as Canadian film star Ryan Gosling and Britain’s King Charles III.

While there is no court ruling against the actor, the museum is not the only institution to have distanced itself rom Depardieu in recent days.

On Saturday, a Belgian municipality stripped Depardieu of the title of honorary citizen, several days after the Canadian province of Quebec revoked its top honour over his “scandalous” comments against women.

Last week, French Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak said the actor’s behaviour shamed France and said he may be stripped of the Legion of Honour, the country’s top award.

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