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France

Depardieu fined €4,000 for drink driving

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-06-21

French actor Gérard Depardieu had his driver’s license suspended for six months and was fined 4,000 euros on Friday over a November drink driving incident in Paris.

After all that actor Gérard Depardieu has been through to avoid giving the French state a single cent of his money – seeking tax exile in Belgium and threatening to renounce his citizenship – he now has to cough up 4,00O euros after a Paris court on Friday slapped the larger than life star with the fine for a drink driving incident in November.

The 64 year old, whose erratic behaviour has made headlines around the world in recent months, was arrested after he took a tumble on his scooter in Paris and was found to be over three times the legal alcohol limit. The screen star has also had his driving license suspended for six months.

Depardieu, who has been filming a movie in Russia in recent weeks, was sentenced in absentia after repeatedly skipping court appearances. He potentially faced a maximum sentence of up to two years in prison, but prosecutors did not seek any jail time.

Off-screen antics

Seen as one of the greatest French actors of his generation, Depardieu has starred in films including "Green Card", "Cyrano de Bergerac", "Jean de Florette" and the popular "Asterix & Obelix" series. He also owns a number of businesses including several vineyards.

But in recent years he has become more famous for his off-screen antics than his acting talent.

The star announced in November he was moving abroad after President François Hollande's Socialist government sought to impose a 75 percent tax rate on incomes over one million euros ($1.3 million).

He took up residency in Belgium and was granted Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin. The decision sparked controversy, as has as his self-avowed friendships with Putin and Chechnya's controversial leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

“Citizen of the world?”

Depardieu recently told a French newspaper he considered himself a "citizen of the world," adding that he was applying for an Algerian passport and hoped eventually to have citizenship in seven countries.

In August, he was cautioned after punching a motorist who had forced him to swerve on his scooter, and in 2011 he generated global headlines when he tried to urinate in a bottle aboard a plane as it prepared to take off from Paris for Dublin.

In the interview with Le Journal du Dimanche earlier this month, Depardieu described himself as "someone who is a bit of a rebel, who shakes things up and who is sometimes drunk."

(FRANCE24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-06-21

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