Gerard Depardieu shot dead two lions in Africa, but claims it was in self-defence

The French actor says that the incident took place in Africa

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The Independent Online

Gérard Depardieu claims that he killed two lions while on a trip to Africa.

He says that he was acting in self-defence when he shot the animals.

“I killed two lions once, and I understand why the lion is the king of the jungle. In legitimate self-defence,” he told French magazine So Film.

“Imagine you’re driving and your engine breaks down. You got out, and in your way are these animals. So you shoot, just to scare them.

“They don’t move. I wasn’t there for hunting. I was in Africa for Africa.”

He also discussed his reputation for getting into fights, particularly in his younger years.

“It's in my nature, bold and expansive, particularly at that time,” he said. “When you're full of life, it can have a positive effect – like offering someone 1,000 roses. That can be good - or it can be bad, like bashing an ashtray on a cop's head because he refuses to drink the champagne you're offering him. But usually I’m never the one who starts the fight.”

 The actor – who currently plays Dominique Strauss-Kahn in new film Welcome To New York – went onto address his fondness for alcohol.

He failed to turn up to the UK premiere of the film at Edinburgh Festival on 28 June, after pictures emerged of him downing pints the night before in a pub in Skye.

Festival organisers commented that he had “let the festival down very badly”.

“When I'm bored, I drink. Apart from occasional compulsory moments of abstinence. After undergoing bypass surgery (five times), and also because of cholesterol and stuff, I have to be careful,” he said.

“Anyway, I’m not going to die. Not now. I still have energy. But if ever I start drinking… I can’t drink like a normal person. I can absorb 12, 13, 14 bottles…per day. But I’m never totally drunk, just a little p****d. All you need is a 10-minute nap and voilà, a slurp of rosé wine and I feel as fresh as a daisy! I have to admit that when I start counting, doctors start worrying.”

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