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Putin Grants Gerard Depardieu Russian Citizenship to Help Him Get Out of French Tax Kerfuffle

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Gerard Depardieu, the French actor who most recently appeared in the mega-blockbuster "Life of Pi" and who has waged a war against a proposed super-tax on millionaires in France, has won a small battle. Well, not really, but he has been granted Russian citizenship. Which has gotta be worth something.

An announcement on the Kremlin website revealed that President Vladimir Putin gave the A-OK on the wealthy actor's Russian citizenship grant following an application from Depardieu. This would give the thesp a means to avoid the hefty taxes being imposed his homeland. The Oscar nominee, who isn't known for being shy, has practically shouted from the Parisian rooftops his opposition to France's plans to raise the tax on earned income about 1 million euros to a whopping 75 percent from the current high of 41 percent. We have to admit, those are some pretty high figures.

But still… he's like, really rich, right? Can't this guy afford it? Maybe, but that's not the point.

"I have never killed anyone, I don't think I've been unworthy, I've paid 145 million euros in taxes over 45 years," he explained in a letter to French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault—who, we might mention, had called the actor "pathetic." That's a low blow. Depardieu's response? "I will neither complain nor brag, but I refuse to be called 'pathetic.'" Seems like he took the high road if you ask us (not that anyone did).

Not everyone's impressed, however. As reported by the AP, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the French government spokeswoman, clearly stated there's a difference between people who have personal or professional reasons to live abroad and "French citizens who proclaim loudly and clearly that they're exiling themselves for fiscal reasons."

We're assuming she considers Depardieu to be in the latter group.

Regardless, it seems Depardieu's move worked, as he can now claim Russian citizenship and sit around counting his money. Or not. The actor has also reportedly considered a move just over the border to Belgium.

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