Actor Gérard Depardieu.
Paris – Producers have pulled French actor Gérard Depardieu from promoting his new film Umami amid allegations of sexual assault brought against him by 13 women. The management is worried that the case surrounding the actor could damage the result of the work of everyone who participated in the film, AFP reported today. Depardieu has previously denied the allegations.
The film tells the story of a chef who goes to Japan in search of himself. Depardieu played the main role in it, Pierre Richard will also appear in the film. The film Umami goes to French cinemas on May 17. The distributors and producers did not want to postpone the premiere because of the case.
“We continue to defend this film and Gérard Depardieu is not associated with its promotion,” the producers said in a press statement. We hope that the “hundreds of hours of work and considerable energy that everyone involved put into the film shot in France and Japan will not go to waste,” they added.
Both the distributor and the producers emphasized that sexual abuse is unacceptable in the world film and elsewhere. They promised to support victims of violence and sexual harassment. Based on a questionnaire among all crew members, they said that “no one reported any inappropriate behavior by Gérard Depardieu during the filming”.
In mid-April, 13 women accused Depardieu of sexual violence, groping and lewd propositions. According to them, this happened most often during filming and between 2004 and 2022. The women entrusted their stories to the investigative server Mediapart, none of them filed a criminal complaint. The actor refused to comment on the new charges, his lawyers deny that he broke the law.