Harry Potter star Emma Watson has been named in the Panama papers as having used an offshore company to buy a London property. The politically active actor, 26, set up a company called Falling Leaves Ltd in the British Virgin Islands, a Caribbean tax haven, in order to purchase a 2.8 million pound home in the British capital, reported Independent online.
Watson, who is a United Nations (UN) goodwill ambassador, set up the company through the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca in 2013, shortly before purchasing the property. The law firm was at the centre of a major leak of 11.5 million documents detailing how a vast number of corporations and wealthy individuals arranged their financial affairs.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published a searchable database detailing some of the contents of the leaked documents, which is how Watson’s details were found.
A spokesperson for the Harry Potter star did not deny she had used an offshore company to purchase the home, but insisted she had done so for privacy reasons and had received no tax advantages as a result of doing so.
“Emma (like many high profile individuals) set up an offshore company for the sole purpose of protecting her anonymity and safety,” the representative said.
“UK companies are required to publicly publish details of their shareholders and therefore do not give her the necessary anonymity required to protect her personal safety, which has been jeopardised in the past owing to such information being publicly available.”