Russia State TV Defends French Actor Gerard Depardieu Against Rape Allegations

French actor Gérard Depardieu.Siebbi/CC BY 3.0

Russian state TV questioned whether the unnamed actress accusing Gérard Depardieu is merely seeking publicity.

French actor and naturalized Russian citizen Gérard Depardieu has been accused of rape and sexual assault, and on Friday, Russian state media defended the prolific actor against the allegations.

Depardieu, 69, is reportedly being investigated in France on accusations of rape and sexual assault and has denied any wrongdoing. French media said the complaint had been lodged by a 22-year-old French actress.

“PR or crime?” asks a segment on the Rossia 24 news channel.

During the segment, the news channel quoted attorney Vadim Lyalin, saying, “Who kept her from doing this after the first time?”

The unnamed actress alleges that she was assaulted during visits to Depardieu’s home on August 7 and 13.

“The young lady was perhaps trying to engage in blackmail and, having failed to get what she wanted, decided that at least this is how she’ll get PR,” Lyalin contended.

The response is similar to that offered by Russian President Vladimir Putin in the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s downfall in the U.S.:

Putin weighed in on the Weinstein scandal this summer, asking: “Why is this happening now, not 10 years ago when this allegedly took place?”

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