Actor Depardieu says he's French despite new Russian passport, and not trying to escape taxman - InfoNews

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Actor Depardieu says he's French despite new Russian passport, and not trying to escape taxman

FIFA President Joseph "Sepp" Blatter, left, and French-Russian actor Gerard Depardieu, right, arrive for the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2013 held at the Kongresshaus in Zurich, Switzerland, on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013. French actor Gerard Depardieu has received a Russian passport after he sought Russian citizenship as part of his battle against a proposed super tax on millionaires in France. (AP Photo/Keystone/Walter Bieri)
January 07, 2013 - 12:15 PM

PARIS - French actor Gerard Depardieu has denied accepting Russian citizenship to escape the taxman in France.

In an interview Monday on L'Equipe 21 sports channel, he said: "I have a Russian passport, but I remain French and I will probably have dual Belgian nationality. But if I'd wanted to escape the taxman, as the French press say, I would have done it a long time ago."

Depardieu received his Russian passport from President Vladimir Putin on Saturday.

The film star has caused an uproar in France by saying in mid-December that he's turning in his French passport over an insult from Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault who called him "pathetic" for deciding to move to tax-friendly Belgium.

France's new Socialist government wants to steeply raise income taxes on the wealthy.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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