LATEST: A judge in Nice, France, yesterday (18JAN06) finally closed a rape case against Johnny Hallyday less than a week after prosecutors admitted there wasn't enough evidence to bring the veteran rocker to trial.

The 62-year-old superstar had been under investigation since 2003 when MARIE-CHRISTINE VO accused him of raping her after a drunken party in 2001.

A relieved Hallyday says, "This affair has scarred my life and is to this day my hell. I have been persecuted as if I were guilty."

The happily married star added, "I happen to believe that, if needs be, I could still sleep with girls without having to resort to rape."

Vo, who has the right to appeal the decision, accused Hallyday of rape in 2002, a year after the alleged attack.

She now faces prosecution alongside two doctors over claims of falsifying the date on a medical certificate to boost her case.