French actor Gerard Depardieu faces rape investigation

Gerard Depardieu the famous french actor known for his roles such as Cyrano de Bergerac has been accused of rape by an un-named actress

Prosecutors in Paris have opened a preliminary investigation of a woman's rape and sexual assault accusations against actor Gerard Depardieu.

French newspaper Le Parisien and BFM TV said the woman, a 22-year-old comedian and dancer, reported that the 69-year-old assaulted her on August 7 and August 13 at his Paris home.

The unnamed actress made her statement to police in Lambesc, southern France, after which the case was passed to prosecutors in the capital.

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Aside from French films and TV-shows, Depardieu has starred in a number of Hollywood films including Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet" and alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Jeremy Irons in "The Man in the Iron Mask".

The alleged crimes occurred this month in one of Mr Depardieu's Paris residences, French media report.

The actress was "devastated" by the alleged attacks, her agent was quoted as saying by French digital news service BFMTV.

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Besson's lawyer called the second allegation "fantasist accusations" and said the director denied any "inappropriate or reprehensible behavior".

A lawyer said the French film star denies the allegations.

Other notable Depardieu performances include roles in Francois Truffaut's "The Last Metro", the Marcel Pagnol-inspired film "Jean de Florette", "The Valley of Love" and four "Asterix and Obelix" films.

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His first big hit in France was Les Valseuses, (Going Places), Bertrand Blier's classic farce about two wandering thugs.

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