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Depardieu in New York as drink-drive trial put off again

DR

A Paris court on Friday pushed back the drunk-driving trial of French film actor Gerard Depardieu for a third time, to 24 May. Depardieu failed to show up to the hearing on Friday because he is shooting a film about former IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, in New York.

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Depardieu, who is starring as Strauss-Kahn in director Abel Ferrara’s film on the scandal that lost the IMF chief his job and the Socialist presidential nomination, told journalists he had nothing to say and wanted to be left in peace on Friday afternoon in Manhattan.

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"He wanted to be present, but he couldn't, he really regrets it," his lawyer, Eric de Caumont, told the court Friday, although filming has not yet begun.

He also failed to appear at a January hearing due to previous engagements on the film.

The hearing was postponed for procedural reasons, not because of the actor’s absence, and could have gone ahead with him being represented by his lawyer.

Depardieu, who grabbed headlines when he took Russian nationality in a row over the government tax-the-rich plans, was detained in November after a minor scooter accident in Paris.

He was found to have more than three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system.

The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of 4,500 euros and jail time of up to two years.

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