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Depardieu drink driving fine upheld

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

An appeals court Tuesday upheld a 4,000 euro fine on eccentric French actor Gerard Depardieu for drink driving, as the star once again did a no-show in court.

Depardieu did not turn up as he had left for China to discuss a film project, his lawyer Eric de Caumont said, adding that his client would no longer appeal.

The 65-year-old actor was arrested in November 2012 after falling off his scooter while more than three times over the legal alcohol limit.

He was summoned to court but hearings kept being postponed after he repeatedly failed to show up.

Depardieu was eventually sentenced in absentia in June, fined 4,000 euros ($5,520) and had his licence suspended for six months.

He managed to evade the suspension by exchanging the licence for a Belgian one and therefore can drive freely in France as well.

Acclaimed as one of the greatest actors of his generation, Depardieu starred in films including "Green Card", "Cyrano de Bergerac" and the "Asterix & Obelix" series.

But in recent years he has become as famed for his off-screen antics as for his acting talents.

The star announced in November 2012 that he was moving abroad after President Francois Hollande's Socialist government sought to impose a 75-percent tax rate on annual incomes over one million euros.

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

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140408/depardieu-drink-driving-fine-upheld