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Celebrities' offshore millions revealed in new Paradise Papers leak: Harvey Weinstein, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Madonna and Shakira used controversial tax havens

Celebrities' offshore millions revealed in new Paradise Papers leak: Harvey Weinstein, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Madonna and Shakira used controversial tax havens

By Charlie Moore For Mailonline

More celebrities were today dragged into the Paradise Papers row.  

Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Harvey Weinstein and Madonna have been linked to the leaked documents which on Monday dramatically exposed a widespread use of tax havens by public figures.

It follows yesterday's revelation that pop star Shakira transferred £30million in musical rights to an offshore firm in Malta.          

Madonna and Weinstein bought shares in Bermuda-based companies, while Timberlake and Kidman set up and registered companies to buy property in the Bahamas.

There is no suggestion that any of these celebrities acted illegally. 

Disgraced pervert Harvey Weinstein bought 2,000 shares of medical venture capital firm Scientia Health Group Ltd in 2001, the documents leaked from law firm Appleby show.

American TV personality Martha Stewart also invested in Scientia and also in another Bermuda-based firm, biopharmaceutical company ImColone. She sold $230,000 worth of shares in that company in December 2001.

Similarly, Madonna purchased 2,000 shares in the Bermuda-based company SafeGard Medical Ltd in 1998. 

The singer is named in the small print of the papers as 'Ciccone, Madonna' (Ciccone being her last name). The company, which produced syringes, was dissolved in 2013.

There is no capital duty on the issue of shares in Bermuda and no tax on dividend income. 

Justin Timberlake created a limited company in August 2015 with his accountant Michael Dreyer as manager.

Four months later he moved to register it in the Bahamas to 'engage in the purchase of real estate,' according to the papers.

Meanwhile, Nicole Kidman registered her and her husband Keith Urban's limited liability company in the Bahamas in March 2015, to secure 'ownership of interests in real property,' the papers say.

The tax on the increased value of properties bought through a US-based limited liability company registered in the Bahamas can be treated as capital gains, resulting in an effective rate of 23.8 per cent.

Properties bought by a Bahamian entity face individual levels of US tax on the value increase which can be up to 39.6 per cent.  

A spokesman for Kidman and Urban told The Guardian that tax was irrelevant to the way they structured their affairs. The other celebrities have been contacted by MailOnline and are yet to comment.

MailOnline yesterday reported that Shakira transferred £30million in musical rights to an offshore firm in Malta.

The Colombian-born singer is the latest celebrity revealed to use abroad tax havens after 1.34million papers were leaked to the German press this week. 

Malta Tournesol Limited, the star's company, is based on the Mediterranean island of Malta, known for its tax incentives.

On the papers, Shakira is listed as a Bahamas resident, despite living Barcelona with her footballer boyfriend Gerard Pique.   

Her lawyer was keen to stress all activity was legal and in accordance with laws. 

Shakira's lawyer Ezequiel Camerini told  Spanish website El Confidential: 'The Maltese company Tournesol Limited fulfils all legal requirements to operate as such. All of the corresponding information relative to this entity is public and transparent.' 

While admitting that Shakira lives in Barcelona, the lawyer justified her residence in a tax haven explaining that 'as an international artist she has resided at different locations throughout her professional career and, in every case, has fully met the laws of all the jurisdictions where she has resided.'

The website reported the company's capital was just under £3million pounds but the associated share premium corresponding to the musical assets and trademarks had been valued at €31.6 million (£27.8 million).

El Confidential was one of the nearly 100 media organisations involved in sifting through information obtained by German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung following a share with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. 

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and U2 frontman Bono have all been named in the Paradise Papers, which have thrust the spotlight back on the tax affairs of the rich and powerful 18 months after the Panama Papers.  

It emerged yesterday that the Duke of Westminster's estimated £9.35 billion estate, which has been passed on between the generations, has included holdings in Bermuda and Panama.

The finances of James Sassoon, a Tory member of the House of Lords who is related to a famous war poet, have also come under scrutiny.

Until around 1999, the Duke of Westminster's Grosvenor International Holdings Ltd had assets worth more than £600m with 42 per cent of its shares held by screen companies in the tax havens.

Two offshore companies, incorporated in 1964 and 1977 respectively, held shares in GIHL, the paper reported, before Grosvenor bought them both out for £40million in 2007.

Questions were asked when it emerged Gerald Grosvenor, who died from a heart attack aged 64 in August last year, left a personal estate of £743.4 million, reduced to £616.4 million after debts and liabilities.

The rest of his estimated £9billion estate appears to have been in family trusts which were passed on to his only son Hugh, 26, now the 7th Duke of Westminster.

As with nearly all of those highlighted in the Paradise Papers, there is no suggestion that any rules were broken.


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