Actor Gerard Depardieu has stunned fans by revealing he used to work as a male escort in his youth.

The Cyrano de Bergerac star has confessed he began roaming the streets of his native Chateauroux, France at the age of 10, when many men thought he was a teenager and propositioned him.

In his memoir, Ca c'est fait comme ca (It Happened Like That), he writes, "I've known since I was very young that I please homosexuals. (When men approached me for sex), I would ask them for money."

And there are more shocking confessions in the book - the Green Card star reveals he also dug up the graves of the newly-deceased and stole their clothes and jewellery.

He also spent three weeks behind bars at the age of 16 for auto theft, and admits he used to mug sex clients at the height of his escort career, adding, "At 20, the thug in me was alive and kicking. I would rip some of them off. I would beat up some bloke and leave with all his money."

Depardieu also explains he drinks heavily to overcome the phobias he has about himself.

He adds, "I'm obsessed with the racket in my body, the beating of my heart, the gurgling of my intestines, my joints cracking.

"It's become a phobia to the point that if I'm alone in a hotel, 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."