The Minister of Culture Rima Abdul Malak had announced that a disciplinary procedure against Gérard Depardieu was indeed initiated by the chancellery of the Legion of Honor, despite Emmanuel Macron's reservations on the subject.
In a letter revealed by Le Parisien, the institution's chief of staff specifies that "given the nature of the remarks [broadcast as part of the Complément d'investigation report, editor's note], the Grand Chancellor has, in accordance with the Article R 103 of the Code of the Legion of Honor, informed Mr. Gérard Depardieu of the opening of a disciplinary procedure. The letter in question was addressed to Emmanuel Ludot, counsel for the Robin des Lois litigants' aid association, who had contacted the Grand Chancellery regarding respect for the actor's presumption of innocence.
The launch of this procedure took place after the broadcast by France 2 of the magazine Complément d'investigation, Thursday December 7, devoted to the actor Gérard Depardieu. We saw the 75-year-old actor, targeted by three complaints for sexual assault or rape which he refutes, multiplying misogynistic and sexual remarks, including towards a little girl.
A week later, on the set of “C à vous”, the Minister of Culture Rima Abdul Malak announced that a disciplinary procedure would be initiated. “I spoke with the Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor, General Lecointre: a council of the order of the Legion of Honor will meet and will initiate a disciplinary procedure to decide whether this Legion of Honor should be suspended or not, withdrawn completely or not. It will be up to them to decide,” she explained.
This was without counting Emmanuel Macron. Guest in turn on the program “C à vous” on December 20, the President of the Republic affirmed the opposite. “The Legion of Honor is an order of which I am the grand master, which is not there to preach,” he said, believing that his minister had “advanced” by speaking about a procedure. “It is not on the basis of a report or this or that thing that we take away the Legion of Honor from an artist, because at that price, we would have taken away the Legion of Honor from many artists,” he argued, relaying Yann Moix’s doubts about the veracity of the images broadcast by France 2. In response to which, France Télévisions had the sequence authenticated by a bailiff.
Based on this letter, Le Parisien confirms that the procedure launched by the Legion of Honor specifically targets the comments made by the actor in North Korea. “The launch of the disciplinary procedure is not synonymous with sanction,” specifies the chancellery. It is now up to Mr. Gérard Depardieu to provide the essential elements of context enabling us to understand the conditions under which these remarks were made.”
Also read “Further investigation”: the sequence which caused Gérard Depardieu to fall authenticated by a bailiff
For his part, Gérard Depardieu announced on December 16, through his lawyers, that he was placing his Legion of Honor “at the disposal” of Minister Rima Abdul Malak. A distinction he received from Jacques Chirac in 1996.
At the end of the adversarial procedure initiated, the council of the order, composed of sixteen qualified members, will propose a sanction or not. He can also recommend censorship. All in the form of an opinion, subject to the decision of the grand master, therefore Emmanuel Macron, who will then be able to validate the sanction, possibly lessen it, but not aggravate it.