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!
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • 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.