French actor Gérard Depardieu has set up legal residence in a Belgian village just over the French border to escape his country’s punitive taxes, the local mayor has confirmed.
The 63-year-old star has bought an unglamorous-looking former customs official’s house in the village of Nechin, a stone’s throw from the nearest French town of Roubaix.
The corpulent screen icon is the latest rich Frenchman to flee the country ahead of a new tax of 75 per cent on all earnings over one million euros – around 850,000 pounds. Belgium’s top rate is 50 per cent.
Around a third of the 2,800-strong population of Nechin was already French, the village mayor Daniel Senesael said.
He added: “He has moved in already and he is very welcome here.