French authorities are investigating a rape accusation against the government's budget chief, who denies the allegation.

The Paris prosecutor's office said Saturday that an initial investigation was opened last year into an alleged rape by Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin, but the case was closed because the accuser didn't show up for questioning.

The prosecutor's office said a new preliminary investigation was launched after the woman filed a lawsuit and she answered investigators' questions this week. The accuser's lawyer says the alleged rape occurred in 2009, when Darmanin was an influential conservative politician.

Darmanin contests the claim and has filed a countersuit alleging false denunciation.

French police have received more sexual violence and harassment report following the misconduct scandal that emerged from Hollywood last year, but no powerful French figures have lost their jobs.