French media said the complaint had been lodged by a 22-year-old French actress. He "absolutely denies any attack, any rape", his lawyer, Herve Termime, said.
Depardieu (69), who is one of France's most prolific and prominent actors, has been in almost 170 movies and gained worldwide recognition in 1990 with his starring role in the English language comedy Green Card in which he starred with Andie MacDowell. The case was then taken to prosecutors in Paris.
French superstar Gerard Depardieu faces allegations of rape and harassment in France.
"He will obviously participate in the investigation and answer the questions", Temime said. Another woman, a 49-year-old casting director, said he assaulted her whenever they were in an elevator together.
The young woman was studying at a school where Depardieu is teaching, according to BFM.
In France, the Me Too movement has not moved as quickly as it did through Hollywood and has been met with some resistance. "Men have been punished summarily, forced out of their jobs when all they did was touch someone's knee or try to steal a kiss".
Apparently, they knew each other already, and the experienced actor was supposed to give her some professional advice as she is an aspiring actress.
Depardieu stars in Netflix's French series "Marseille".