French actor Gerard Depardieu has been formally charged with rape.

The Green Card star, 72, is accused of sexually assaulting a young actress at his Paris apartment in 2018, when she was 22.

Authorities filed the count against the actor in December, but the news has only just surfaced, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Oscar nominee Depardieu faced a criminal investigation over the claims shortly after the alleged attack took place, but the case was dropped by officials in 2019.

However, the unidentified woman, whose family is said to be friends with Depardieu, refiled her complaint as an "injured party" last year, requesting prosecutors take another look at the case, as allowed under French law.

Depardieu's lawyers previously dismissed the claims as "groundless", and now legal representative Herve Temime has reiterated his client's innocence, telling AFP he "completely rejects the accusations".