Gérard Depardieu, perhaps the world's most famous French actor (to the rest of the world anyway), is French no more. After the French Presient Francois Hollande tried to levy a 75% tax on income over one millions euros, or appoximately 1.3 million US dollars, Depardieu bought a house in Belgium on the northern border of France in order to avoid paying up. (France's Prime Minister labeled the move "rather pathetic" and called Depardieu unpatriotic.) In the midst of the French flap over taxing the rich, Vladimir Putin publicly offered Depardieu a Russian passport. But that was only the start: According to the Kremlin's official Twitter account, Depardieu is now an actual citizen of Russia....
Vladimir Putin signs order giving Gérard Depardieu Russian citizenship— President of Russia (@KremlinRussia_E) January 3, 2013
What's going to happen to Depardieu now? Will he be as successful, or famous? Will he ever return to France? One thing that's for sure is his fortune: Depardieu's net worth is somewhere around $120 million (likely much higher after selling his enormous apartment in Paris), and Russia, notes USA Today, has an income tax rate of 13%.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.