Gerard Depardieu Gets Passport From Putin

'Cyrano' Star Wants Exile To Avoid French Tycoon Tax

getty images

By Reuters

Published January 03, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted citizenship to Gerard Depardieu, the French movie star who is quitting his homeland to avoid a tax hike on the rich, the Kremlin said on Thursday.

The “Cyrano de Bergerac” actor bought a house across the border in Belgium last year to avoid a new tax rate for millionaires in France planned by Socialist President Francois Hollande but said he could also seek tax exile elsewhere.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Depardieu had applied for citizenship after Putin told reporters last month that he would be welcome in Russia. “The citizenship could not have been granted to him without (such an) appeal,” Peskov said.

Putin told a news conference last month: “If Gerard really wants to have either a residency permit in Russia or a Russian passport, we will assume that this matter is settled and settled positively.”

The Kremlin’s website said Putin had signed a decree granting Depardieu citizenship.

Russia has a flat income tax rate of 13 percent, compared with the 75 percent on income over 1 million euros ($1.32 million) that Hollande wants to impose in France.

The 63-year-old Depardieu told friends he was considering three options to escape France’s new tax regime: settling in Belgium, relocating to Montenegro, where he has a business, or fleeing to Russia, French daily Le Monde reported in December.

He has said he plans to hand in his French passport and social security card.

“Putin has already sent me a passport,” Le Monde quoted the actor as jokingly saying in December.

Asked, whether Depardieu had plans to move to Russia, the Kremlin spokesman said it was up to him and was “absolutely not mandatory.” Putin and Depardieu did not speak one-on-one before the decision to grant him citizenship, Peskov said.

An assistant to Depardieu declined to comment.

France’s Constitutional Council last month blocked the planned 75 percent tax rate due to the way it would be applied - but Hollande plans to propose redrafted legislation which will “still ask more of those who have the most”.

Depardieu is well-known in Russia where he has appeared in many advertising campaigns. He worked in the country in 2011 on a film about the life and times of the eccentric Russian monk Grigory Rasputin.

In 2012 he was one of several Western celebrities invited to celebrate the birthday of Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed leader.

Some Muscovites said they would welcome Depardieu in Russia.

“He is a normal guy, he is fond of drinking too, I suppose, the Russian way, so let him come here. It will be like a rebuke to the French who are burning cars already,” said Muscovite Lev Nikolaevich, an apparent reference to a tradition among disaffected suburban youths of destroying cars on New Year’s Eve.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Yeshiva University's lawyer wanted to know why the dozens of former schoolboys now suing over a sexual abuse cover-up didn't sue decades ago. Read the judge's striking response here.
  • It’s over. The tyranny of the straight-haired, button nosed, tan-skinned girl has ended. Jewesses rejoice!
  • It's really, really, really hard to get kicked out of Hebrew school these days.
  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.