Gerard Depardieu has been granted Russian citizenship after battling with the French government over high taxes.
It has not been confirmed that Depardieu has accepted the offer, according to an article at E! Online, but the acclaimed actor has publicly threatened to renounce his French citizenship over tax issues and Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted citizenship if he chooses to take it. Russia is one of several countries Depardieu has hinted that he was considering in the past.
People always threaten to leave their country over issues like taxes, but for an actor who has been one of his country’s most well-known for many years to actually do so would certainly be bad publicity for France, especially if Depardieu does choose Russia over Belgium or Montenegro, other possibilities he has mentioned.
In December, Gerard Depardieu wrote an open letter to French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayraul in which he complained that he was paying 85% taxes on his assets. Percentages like that make American taxes look much more reasonable.
“I never killed anybody, I do not think I’m unworthy, I paid 145 million in tax in 45 years, I have 80 people working in companies that were created for them and which are managed by them,” the article quotes the letter.
While Russia does not seem like a very smart choice, it does seem as though Depardieu has earned the rights to more than 15% of his assets at age 64 and after a long, distinguished career.
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