Depardieu 'caught short' on flight


French film actor Gerard Depardieu was thrown off a flight from Paris to Dublin yesterday evening after he reportedly urinated in the aisle just before takeoff.

The actor was on his way to Ireland, where he is to film the fourth instalment in the Astérix franchise, Astérix and Obélix: God Save Britannia. Outdoor scenes for the film, which has an estimated €50 million budget, are being shot in the Burren over the next four weeks.

Mr Depardieu is playing Obelix but news that he was in-a-fix emerged after a passenger on the CityJet plane contacted a French radio station this morning to complain abou this behaviour on board the flight.

News of the incident emerged after a passenger on the CityJet plane contacted a French radio station this morning.

The passenger, who was not named, alleged the star (62) of films including Cyrano de Bergerac and the romantic comedy Green Card, stood up minutes before take-off and declared in a loud voice: "Je veux pisser. Je veus pisser."

He was asked by a flight attendant to take his seat, put on his seatbelt and wait 15 minutes until the plane reached its cruising altitude.

However, Mr Depardieu insisted he could not wait any longer. "And there and then he stood up and did it on the floor," the caller told the radio station. "We could see he had been drinking. The stewardess was dumbfounded," she added.

"No one said anything. It all happened with courtesy. Mr Depardieu sat back down and the plane returned to the parking area to be cleaned."

When contacted by The Irish Times this afternoon, a CityJet spokeswoman confirmed there had been an incident on the flight but said that it was against company policy to reveal the identity of the passenger involved.

She said the plane, which was due to leave Paris for Dublin at 6.45pm, was delayed for just under two hours following the incident.

She said after the passenger refused to take his seat and “in effect, urinated in the plane”, the captain returned to the boarding gate where security staff were waiting. “The passenger in question was then off-loaded and airline staff cleaned the plane, which departed for Dublin at 8.35pm.

She did not say whether the company intended to take further action in relation to the incident.

A spokesman for Octagon Productions, which is overseeing the shoot in Co Clare, said it had no comment to make.

When contacted by this newspaper this afternoon a spokeswoman for Mr Depardieu’s Paris-based agent said she was unable to comment on the specifics of the incident. “We don’t know anything about it. We don’t know what happened. We were on holiday and are only learning about it from the newspapers.”