I Was a Male Prostitute, Grave Robber: Depardieu
Actor's autobiography also says his mom tried to abort him with knitting needles
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2014 10:59 AM CDT
French actor Gerard Depardieu smiles at a news conference in Chechnya's provincial capital of Grozny, Russia, on May 21, 2013.    (AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev)

(Newser) – Gerard Depardieu—known most recently for scootering while intoxicated, defecting to Russia, and peeing on an airplane floor—apparently can't resist upstaging himself. In his new autobiography, That's the Way It Was, excerpted in the Daily Mail, the French actor ventures into what's probably TMI territory, revealing he was a male prostitute and grave robber in his youth and why he and Russian President Vladimir Putin have become such good friends, the Hollywood Reporter notes. Among the nuggets revealed in the book:

  • When he was a teen and young adult, he worked as a male escort in both his hometown and in Paris. "I've known since I was very young that I please homosexuals," he says.
  • He went to prison for a bit for auto theft and also dug up dead bodies with another man to loot them for clothes and jewelry. Another confession: He sometimes mugged his prostitution customers, proclaiming, "At 20, the thug in me was alive and kicking."

  • His mother didn't want a third child and so tried to get rid of Gerard in the womb: "I survived all the violence that my poor mother inflicted on herself with knitting needles and things," he says in the book, according to the Independent, though later in life (ostensibly after he became successful) she allegedly "fondly" told him, "And to think I almost killed you."
  • In a recent interview with So Film magazine, Depardieu admits to downing up to 14 bottles of wine a day, though he has a good explanation via the Reporter for all that: "I'm obsessed with the racket in my body, the beating of my heart, the gurgling of my intestines, my joints cracking. … I must drink so as not to hear it, so as not to go mad from it. I can't get to sleep unless I am dead drunk." According to the Independent, he also denied being an alcoholic on French TV last week, saying "alcoholics never get drunk."
  • As for his friendship with Putin, he believes "we could have both become hoodlums. … I think [Putin] immediately liked my hooligan side … that I had occasionally been picked up off the pavement dead drunk."