Feud Alert: French Prime Minister Calls Gérard Depardieu "Shabby" for Tax Exile Move

French actor comes under fire after buying a house in Belgium

By Brandi Fowler Dec 13, 2012 12:45 AMTags
Gerard DepardieuIan Gavan/Getty Images

If it's not one thing, it's another for Gérard Depardieu.

Not long after being detained in Paris for crashing his scooter while allegedly driving it drunk (not to mention that incident of peeing on a plane), the French actor has come under fire again. The country's prime minister has called out Depardieu for—mon dieu!—deciding to move from France to Belgium in order to pay lower taxes.

After Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault caught wind that Depardieu was moving to the neighboring country, he said on France 2 television, "I find this quite shabby... all that just to avoid paying tax. Paying a tax is an act of solidarity, a patriotic act."

"Going just over the border, I find that fairly pathetic," Ayrault went on. "Being a Frenchman means loving your country and helping it to get back on its feet."

Following a series of wealth tax hikes by French President François Hollande, Depardieu bought a house in the Belgian village of Nechin near the French border, according to the U.K.'s Independent.

While France's residents who have assets over 1.3 million euros have to pay a significant wealth tax (a 75 percent tax on incomes exceeding 1 million euros), Belgian residents do not.