France’s most famous leading man, Gérard Depardieu, has joined the flight of France’s wealthy to less tax-heavy destinations, establishing his residency in the Belgian border town of Néchin.
His self-imposed exile will make him one of the highest-profile celebrities to ditch France because of the country’s stiff taxes on high earners. French President François Hollande has made good on his campaign promise to tax revenues above €1 million at a rate of 75 percent.
In September, the president’s ruling Socialist government unveiled a string of deficit-busting measures, including the infamous levy on millionaires and a new 45 percent rate for those earning above €150,000 per year.
Reports of his tax evasion (sic) plans are the latest in a string of bad press for Depardieu. Last month he was detained after falling off his scooter in Paris and failing a subsequent alcohol test. He made headlines again last week after recording a duet with the daughter of Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov, who has been heavily criticised for heading one of Europe’s (sic) most repressive regimes.
Depardieu outraged fellow passengers in August 2011 by urinating in the aisle of an Air France flight as it prepared to take off, forcing the plane to turn back. (sick)