Sean Connery hits back at critics by revealing his Â£3.7m tax bill
One of the most high-profile living Scotsmen has launched a pre-emptive strike on critics who scorn his right to support political independence for a country he no longer lives in.
The actor Sean Connery, a staunch supporter of the Scottish National Party (SNP), has revealed how much tax he has paid to the Treasury in the past five years in an effort to stifle criticism of his support for nationalists during the forthcoming Holyrood elections.
Opponents of the SNP, responding to the well-publicised support from such a celebrity, have repeatedly sniped at the star's tax-exile status in the Bahamas – and before that in Marbella – claiming it undermined his commitment to the nationalist cause and made him a "false friend of Scotland".
However, with a campaign for Scottish Parliament elections beginning in the next few weeks, Sir Sean, 72, who once worked as a milkman in Edinburgh, is aware that his decision to live abroad will come under fresh scrutiny.
"I get battered with this living in Marbella, living in the Bahamas, whatever," the actor said at his Bahamas home in Lyford Cay. "I'm an easy target because of my political opinions but I defy anyone in Scotland to find one detail where I knowingly ever did anything that was to the detriment of Scotland. It gets up my nose."
In a rare interview with Scotland's Herald newspaper, the actor – most famous for his James Bond roles – handed over evidence from his lawyers to show that, despite living in the Bahamas, he had paid more than £3.7m in tax to the UK Treasury since 1997, considerably more than the majority of his critics.
In addition, his lawyers said, he had "been either personally responsible for or a major participant in a vast amount of motion picture production in the UK over that time span, which has brought literally millions and millions of pounds of capital into the country, employed hundreds if not thousands of individuals in those films and generated substantial additional tax for the UK Inland Revenue".
Sir Sean said: "Everything I've got is tax paid. I don't have any blind trusts. And I hope this erases some of the cynicism about my financial affairs."
The actor, who regularly earns millions of pounds for his film roles, said: "I pay full tax wherever I am working. That's the way it works in the film industry. Since I've gone out of my way to bring film projects to the UK, instead of Hollywood, that's meant I've paid full tax here."
Co-creator Mark Gatiss dropped some very intriguing hints ahead of the BBC drama's return next year
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 3 Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
- 4 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 5 Pastafarian former porn star Asia Lemmon allowed to wear colander in driving licence photo
Duchess of Alba dead: Billionaire Spanish duchess who lived life by her own rules, dies at 88
New York snowstorm: Death toll rises to 10 as residents battle with further snowfall
These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? And why has nobody taken legal action?
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
G20 summit: David Cameron warns Vladimir Putin that Russia's relationship with the West is at a 'fork in the road' over Ukraine
£8 - £12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To assist a young family with the care ...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Executive is required...
£55000 - £70000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world lead...
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world leading services pr...