Open Letter To French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (English Translation)

Subject: Open Letter To French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (English Translation)
From: Gerard Depardieu
Date: 18 Dec 2012

Pathetic, you said "pathetic"? How pathetic it is!

I was born in 1948, I started working at the age of 14 as a printer, as a warehouseman and then as a dramatic artist. I've always paid my taxes and levies, whatever the rate has been under all the governments in place.

At no point have I defaulted on my duties. The historic films I've made testify to my love of France and its history.

More illustrious figures than me have been expatriated or have left our country.

I sadly have nothing left to do here, but I will continue to love the French people and this public with whom I've shared so many emotions!

I'm leaving because you consider that success, creation, talent, in fact, differences, must be punished.

I do not ask to be approved of. I could at least be respected!

No one else who has left France has been attacked as I am.

I don't have to justify the reasons for my choice, which are numerous and personal.

I leave, after having paid, in 2012, 85% taxes on my earnings. But I keep the spirit of this France that was beautiful and that I hope will remain so.

I return to you my passport and my social security that I have never used. We no longer have the same fatherland, I am a true European, a citizen of the world, as my father always taught me.

I find pathetic the harshness of the justice delivered against my [late] son Guillaume, judged by judges who condemned him as a kid to three years of hard time for two grams of heroin, while so many others escaped prison for much more serious acts.

I throw no stones at all those who have cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, or too much alcohol or those who fall asleep on their scooters: I am one of them, as your dear media so loves to repeat.

I have never killed anyone, I do not think I've shown myself unworthy, I have paid €145 million in taxes over 45 years, I provide jobs for 80 people in companies that were created for them and are managed by them.

I am neither complaining nor bragging, but I reject the word "pathetic."

Who are you to judge me thus, I ask you Mr. Ayrault, Prime Minister of Mr. Hollande, I ask you, who are you?

Despite my excesses, my appetite and my love of life, I am a free person Sir and I will remain polite.

Gérard Depardieu