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France

Depardieu arrested for drink driving after scooter fall

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-11-30

French film star Gérard Depardieu has been arrested for drink driving after falling off his scooter in Paris on Thursday. In August, the actor was accused of punching a motorist in a road rage incident.

Troubled French actor Gérard Depardieu was detained by Paris police on Thursday after falling off his scooter, drunk.

The burly 63-year-old Cyrano de Bergerac star, a lover of wine who owns hundreds of acres of vineyards in France, was found to have 1.8 grammes per litre of alcohol in his blood, far beyond the legal limit for driving in France, which is 0.5 grammes.

Police said that Depardieu did not cause the accident - but still faces a fine of up to 4,500 euros and stands to lose at least six points (out of a maximum of 12) from his driving licence.

Depardieu initially refused to take a breath test when police arrived at the scene of the accident, in which the actor slightly injured his elbow.

After finally relenting, he failed the test, was arrested for being over the legal limit and taken to a police station. A judicial source said Depardieu was then given water and sandwiches “to help him sober up."

It is not the first time that Depardieu, known for his bluntness and contempt for political correctness, has made headlines for alcohol-fuelled public misbehaviour.

In August he was accused of punching another motorist whom he said was driving dangerously, and in 2011 the actor, best known to English-speaking audiences for his Golden Globe-winning performance in the 1991 romantic comedy Green Card, was removed from an aeroplane at a Paris airport for urinating in the aisle.

Witnesses reported that Depardieu had told the stewardess, “I need to piss, I need to piss,” as the plane prepared to take off. When told he had to wait 15 minutes, witnesses said Depardieu “just stood up and urinated on the floor."

In 2005 Depardieu, whose latest film role is the larger-than-life Obelix from the classic French Asterix cartoons, head-butted a photographer in a Florence market. The photographer was knocked out.

Just before the incident, Depardieu denied that he had been drunk when he told the BBC in an interview that he was “not a belching drunken pig”.

Date created : 2012-11-30

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