French actor Gerard Depardieu, 72, is under investigation in France on allegations of rape and sexual assault, judicial sources said on Tuesday evening.
These proceedings began in mid-December, according to judicial circles. According to French news agency AFP, citing Depardieu's lawyer, the actor has denied the allegations.
Preliminary investigations into the case picked up again in the summer after the first one had been discontinued; the current proceedings could lead to a criminal trial if the investigating judges ultimately see sufficient evidence against Depardieu.
Depardieu is one of France's most famous actors, known for playing Cyrano de Bergerac, Obelix and the Count of Monte Cristo, among others.