Maybe Russia Was Too Cold? French Tax Exile Gerard Depardieu Made Honorary Citizen Of Belgium

Looking decidedly worse for wear, Gerard Depardieu had a sash put around his very large belly and was handed a certificate making him an honorary citizen of Belgium on Saturday.

Hardly recognizable as the hunk who starred in 1990’s Green Card, Depardieu was in his new home town of Nechin, Belgium where he hosted a party for 200 of his neighbors as part of the citizenship celebration.

The actor, who works constantly — he appeared in the 2012 hit, The Life of Pi — announced last year that he was leaving his native country of France because of a proposed new 75 percent tax rate.

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He put his $65 million Paris mansion on the market and went searching for a new country to call home.

Russia came calling and none other than President Vladimir Putin himself awarded Depardieu  a Russian passport.

But with tiny Belgium right across the border from France, Depardieu was more inclined to settle there.

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“I am a free man.  I feel home everywhere in Europe,” Depardieu said yesterday.

And that darn tax problem in France?  “It’s a big misunderstanding,” he quipped.  “I love France.”

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