City of Brussels withdraws medal from French actor Gérard Depardieu
On Monday evening, the city of Brussels withdrew the medal of honour it had awarded to French actor Gérard Depardieu (74) in 2018 in recognition of his film career. The city took back the medal after the release of a documentary about the actor and his misogynistic behaviour aired on France 2.
The documentary, The Fall of the Ogre, features Depardieu making several obscene and offensive remarks about women and sexualising a young girl he came across in North Korea in 2018. The documentary also examines interviews he gave in the 1970s and 1990s, discussing on tape his history of committing several rapes, comments which he later tried to retract.
The broadcast caused several organisations to withdraw the awards and medals they had presented to the actor. Among other things, Depardieu was stripped of his honourary citizenship of the Walloon town of Estaimpuis and of the Ordre National du Québec. On Monday, his wax statue was removed from the Musée Grevin in Paris.
Depardieu is no stranger to sexual misconduct and rape allegations. More than 13 women have come forward to accuse the actor of sexual violence on film sets or other locations between 2004 and 2022. While he was convicted of rape in 2020, he did not go to prison.
Brussels awards the medal to people who underline the city's values and standards, including foreign artists.
©Ammar Abd Rabbo/ AFP