L'Affaire Gerard Depardieu

France's leading movie star denies an incendiary statement -- and stirs yet more controversy in France and the U.S.

Kevin Costner may have been the man of the hour at last week's Academy Awards (his Dances with Wolves walked off with seven Oscars), but it was one of the evening's losers who provided the award season's biggest flap. Gerard Depardieu, who was nominated for Best Actor for Cyrano de Bergerac, was a no- show at the ceremony. Even so, he was at the center of a fire storm over comments about his wild days as a youth.

The ruckus stemmed from a TIME story about the French film star published in late January. Depardieu, 42, was asked about remarks he...

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