“Crocodile Dundee” star Paul Hogan is trapped in the jaws of an Australian tax dispute, and cannot leave the country because of an alleged multi-million dollar unpaid bill owed to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).
Upon his attempts to return, tax officials served the actor with an order barring him from leaving until the matter is settled.
According to the AFP report, the dispute has been going on for five years. The bill he is said to be facing is more than $12 million after tax officials told him they consider him an Australian for tax purposes, in spite of Hogan living and paying taxes in the U.S. from 1995 to 2002. While he briefly moved back to Australia from 2002 to 2005, officials say they have considered him a resident since 1987.
The ATO further claims Hogan did not pay taxes in either country on some of his income.
Andrew Robinson, an attorney for Hogan, said his client “continues to vehemently deny any wrongdoing.”
"He will continue to defend his position through all available legal and other channels. He is stunned and very disappointed that the government could treat him as a flight risk,” Robinson said via statement.
"The process of detaining Paul in Australia away from his wife and child in Los Angeles has devastated Paul and he hopes that discussions between us and the ATO will lead to a prompt resolution allowing him to return to his family."
Hogan is most famous in the U.S. for his work in the "Crocodile Dundee" franchise, but the actor also used to be the face of Australian tourism, famously telling viewers in television ads that he would "slip another shrimp on the barbie for ya."