Gerard Depardieu to French Government: “I Leave After Paying 85% Tax on my Income”

Gerard Depardieu may be an obscure figure to most Americans, remembered, if at all, from the ill-fated movie, Green Card, but he’s a famous and successful actor and businessman in France who has decided to get out.

Nor is Gerard Depardieu any kind of right-winger. His goodbye letter boasts that he is a European and a true citizen of the world. But he is tired of paying a ridiculous amount of money in taxes and of being insulted for it. While other wealthy Frenchmen who left the country have tried to cover up their reasons, Depradieu, true to form, has been openly confrontational about it.

And in response to being called pathetic and unpatriotic by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, had this to say.

Shabby, you say “pathetic”?

I was born in 1948, I started working at the age of 14 years as a printer, then as a warehouseman and as a dramatic artist. I always paid my taxes regardless of the rate under all governments…

I’m leaving because you consider that success, creativity, talent, actually and anything different must be punished…

I leave after paying, in 2012, 85% tax on my income. But I keep in mind that France was beautiful and I hope it will remain so…

I paid 145 million (190 million US dollars) tax in forty-five years, I have 80 people working in companies that were created for them and which are managed by them.

I do not wish to complain or to brag, but I refuse the word “pathetic”.

Who are you to judge me so I ask you Mr. Ayrault, Prime Minister, Mr. Hollande, I ask you, who are you? Despite my excesses, my appetite and my love life, I am a free being, sir…

Gérard Depardieu

So looks like Atlas just shrugged.

  • Thomas Wells

    Right time to get outa Dodge.

  • JacksonPearson

    Punishing the successful, by squeezing every ounce of blood from them, won't work. Self preservation says, that the wealthy won't sit still to have a target pinned on their backsides, and will leave.

  • RUI

    The problem is that we're running out of places in the world to which we can go Galt.

  • ed sweet

    Time to stamp out all the Socialists.

  • Mary Sue

    Man I hope he comes to Canada. Usually I don't listen to actors when they talk about politics but this time one is making sense!

  • richard brazeau

    He will be almost in the same boat in Canada

    • Mary Sue

      not quite. Canada's taxes are a bit different but they're in no way 85% or something insane like that.

  • manzo

    Actually Canada over the last number of year has reduced their corporate and income tax rates to become one of the lowest taxed countries in the world. I know for a fact that they have much lower taxes the the USA, especially when it comes to corporate taxes.

    • Mary Sue

      remember when it used to be stupidly high?

  • Questions

    Daniel Greenfield must not go to the movies much. Far from being "obscure," Gerard Depardieu is one of the most recognizable and popular film actors in the world. Yes, he's French, but he's been cast in many American movies, including "Green Card" (1990), which hardly, I might add, was "ill-fated." He currently can be seen, albeit in a supporting role, in Ang Lee's wondrous "Life of Pi."

    A round of applause, by the way, for Monsieur Depardieu for not wanting his income virtually confiscated by the French government.

    • Mary Sue

      Obscure TO AMERICANS, clearly.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      He's a major star in France. Not so in the US.

  • SoCalMike

    Now the ingrates get 85% of 0. Enjoy.
    Bon Appetite.

  • http://twitter.com/sheikyermami @sheikyermami

    Belgium is not much better. Its not even a country.