Gerard Depardieu's Bizarre Path to Russian Citizenship
The Hollywood Reporter -- This story first appeared in the Jan. 18 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
French actor Gerard Depardieu has given up Gaul for good. After an epic fight with his home country's government over a proposed tax increase of up to 75 percent on top earners, Depardieu, 64, threatened to move to Belgium. Now he's officially a Russian citizen and Vladimir Putin's new BFF. What happened? THR rounds up the highlights of his month in the international spotlight.
Depardieu appears in Nechin, Belgium, where 27 percent of citizens are French "tax exiles," to register as a new resident.
PHOTOS: The Top European Media and Entertainment Industry Stories of 2012
Puts his 20-room, 20,000-square-foot Paris home up for sale for $65 million.
Le Monde reports the actor has told friends that he has three countries that are willing to give him a passport.
In an odd move, Putin signs a decree granting the Green Card star citizenship.
STORY: Russian President Vladimir Putin Grants Gerard Depardieu Citizenship
Depardieu accepts Putin's offer with a letter calling the country "a great democracy."
Russian TV airs video of Depardieu and Putin embracing at Putin's vacation home. The Kremlin confirms a passport is issued.
Later, Depardieu flies to snowy Saransk, Mordovia, where he is greeted with pancakes and traditional songs and shown waving his new passport. Governor Vladimir Volkov offers him a free apartment as well as the job of the region's culture minister.
JAN. 8Depardieu is a no-show for a Paris court date stemming from a Nov. 29 arrest for drunken driving. The decision to skip the hearing and remain in Switzerland, where he was attending an event, means the actor's case moves to a criminal court, which could result in fines of up to $5,900 (&euro4,500) and two years in jail.
Related article on THR.com:
Gerard Depardieu Faces Prison Time, Fines After Missing Court Date
_ _ _ _
Find more online: THR.com
Fergie, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Heidi Klum all get an F on this week's Fashion Offenders.Watch Video »
Diva Double Date
Beyonce and Alicia Keys double date with their famous hubbies on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
Where Are They?
See what the cast of "American Beauty" is up to today.Watch Video »
J.Lo's Mini Me
Jennifer Lopez shares an adorable photo of her look-alike daughter, plus more celebritots on social media on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
Prince Harry, Jessica Alba and more stars who threw out the first pitch at baseball games.Watch Video »
Sofia Vergara poses in a revealing neon bikini while her "Modern Family" castmates hit the beach in Australia on Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
Like us on Facebook?
UP NEXTVal's Moves
From Crowd Ignite