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Actor Gérard Depardieu faces another sexual assault complaint

PEOPLE
Gerard Depardieu

PARIS — French actor Gérard Depardieu faces another complaint of sexual assault, this time from a movie decorator who alleges he groped her during filming in 2021.

In the complaint to the Paris prosecutor’s office, the 53-year-old decorator alleges that Depardieu grabbed her and kneaded her waist, stomach and breasts during filming for “Les Volets verts,” or “The Green Shutters,” lawyer Carine Durrieu Diebolt said Monday. Other people intervened to stop him, the lawyer added.

Two lawyers for the 75-year-old Depardieu did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment, and their offices said they weren't available to talk by phone.

The latest accusations came after French actor Judith Godrèche called on France’s film industry to “face the truth” on sexual violence and physical abuse during a live broadcast Friday of the Cesar Awards ceremony, France’s version of the Oscars.

Godrèche, who recently accused two film directors of rape and sexual abuse when she was a teenager, condemned French cinema for its silence over abuses in the industry.

“We can decide that men accused of rape no longer rule the (French) cinema,” Godrèche said to a hushed audience. “Let's not embody heroines on screen only to find ourselves hiding in the woods in real life.”

Depardieu has also been accused by more than a dozen other women of harassing, groping or sexually assaulting them. He was handed preliminary rape and sexual assault charges in 2020 following allegations from actor Charlotte Arnould.

Depardieu denies wrongdoing. In an open letter in October, he said: "I have never, ever abused a woman.”

Durrieu Diebolt said that the statement was traumatic for her client and led her to file suit against him.

Depardieu was long seen as a national icon in France. He has been a global ambassador for French film and enjoyed international fame with several roles in Hollywood.

Despite the allegations against him, his fame has won Depardieu words of praise from the highest echelons of the French government.

“He makes France proud,” President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview with TV channel France 5 that was broadcast Dec. 20, days after a documentary aired on French television in which 16 women accused Depardieu of harassing, groping or sexually assaulting them.

In January, Macron tried to walk back his remarks in Depardieu’s defense, saying that he should have mentioned his unequivocal support for victims of abuse.

“I haven’t said enough how important it is for women who are victims of abuse to speak out, and how crucial this fight is to me,” Macron said, while standing by his defense of Depardieu's presumed innocence.

French cultural minister Rachida Dati on Friday criticized the country’s cinema for “collectively turning a blind eye for decades” to sexual violence.

“This should be the beginning of profound soul-searching for French cinema,” Dati said in an interview with a online magazine, The French Film. “There is no impunity in the name of art."

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Pattie Boyd

LONDON — Love letters to Pattie Boyd from both George Harrison and Eric Clapton are going up for sale at Christie’s auction house, alongside clothing, jewelry and other memorabilia from the renowned model and musicians’ muse.

Boyd, who was previously married both to Beatle Harrison and to guitar legend Clapton, is selling a trove of items from her time at the epicenter of the 1960s and 70s counterculture, Christie's announced Monday.

For Boyd, Harrison wrote “Something,” one of the Fab Four’s most-covered tunes. Clapton’s passion for his friend’s wife inspired the scorching “Layla.” Later, when Boyd had left Harrison and married Clapton, he serenaded her with “Wonderful Tonight.”

The auction includes two love letters from Clapton, written while Boyd was married to Harrison, and the original cover artwork for Derek and The Dominos’ 1970 album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs,” a painting of a blonde model who reminded Clapton of Boyd. It’s estimated to sell for between 40,000 and 60,000 pounds ($51,000 and $76,000).

There are also letters and notes from Harrison, and his handwritten lyrics for the song “Mystical One,” which have an estimated price of 30,000 to 50,000 pounds ($38,000 to $63,000).

Christie’s head of sale Adrian Hume-Sayer said Boyd’s life and career “chart some of the key moments of the cultural revolution that changed the world in the 1960s,” and the auction offered collectors and fans “an unparalleled chance to see and own a piece of cultural history.”

The more than 100 lots include photos taken by Boyd, who became an accomplished photographer, among them images of The Beatles’ 1968 stay at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in India.

“I’m happy to let go of these things which I have treasured and loved for so many years,” said Boyd, 79. “These items represent special moments in my life but now I think it’s time to move on and share what I have with others.”

The items are open for online bidding between March 8 and 22, and will be on display at Christie’s London headquarters from March 15 to 21.

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Busta Rhymes

NEW YORK — Busta Rhymes on Friday reportedly got into a physical altercation with fellow New York rapper Nizzle Man, while attending a party at Midtown club Harbor NYC.

According to leaked footage of the incident posted Saturday by The Shade Room, the 51-year-old “Break Ya Neck” rapper was seen getting up into the personal space of 23-year-old Nizzle, as the latter appeared be escorted out of French Montana’s album release event.

“No word on what started the altercation, but the video shows Busta, security, and others forcibly removing #NizzleMan from their space,” read the video’s caption.

The clip starts with security yanking Nizzle up after he fell or was pushed down a flight of stairs. Busta then proceeds to yell in Nizzle’s face, though it’s unclear what exactly was said. It’s also unknown why Nizzle seemed to be the only person escorted out of the party.

Prior to Friday, there didn’t appear to be beef between Nizzle Man, an aspiring rapper from Staten Island , and Brooklyn-born Busta, according to TMZ. As of early Saturday evening, neither had publicly remarked on the incident.

Busta has previously faced legal action for past altercations. Back in 2007, he was given the choice of six months behind bars or in anger management classes after he was charged with kicking a fan in the face and punching his former driver.

In 2015, after throwing a protein shake at a gym worker in Chelsea, the hip-hop star pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of a harassment violation.

From combined wire services

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