Actress Emma Watson has been named in the so-called “Panama Papers” as having used a company based in a Caribbean tax haven to handle her money, it was revealed Tuesday.
The 26-year-old, who is taking a break from acting to work as a United Nations goodwill ambassador and women’s rights campaigner, is a shareholder in one of approximately 200,000 offshore corporations whose information was published online Monday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
Being named as a shareholder in an offshore company does not prove any wrongdoing on Watson’s part. However, the ICIJ has published a number of stories detailing how world leaders, celebrities and businesses use such entities to hide money from tax authorities in their home countries.
Watson’s presence in the database was first reported by the British magazine The Spectator. The Times of London reported that Watson used the company, Falling Leaves Ltd., in 2013 to purchase a home in the British capital worth approximately 2.8 million pounds ($4 million).
Officials in the United States and governments from at least four other countries called Tuesday for closer examination of anonymous offshore accounts highlighted by new Panama Papers’ disclosures of how the rich and powerful hide their assets.
In the United States, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., sent letters to the secretaries of state of Nevada and Wyoming, demanding a full accounting of the anonymous companies established in those states through the Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, which had 11.5 million of its internal documents hacked.
Citing a USA TODAY analysis of 1,000 anonymous companies in Nevada and 24 in Wyoming tied to the law firm, Wyden asked for information about the companies, how the states regulate them and whether any of the companies had been investigated for criminal activity.
“I have become increasingly concerned about the use of anonymous shell companies as vehicles for terrorists financing, tax evasion, and fraud targeting major government programs within the Committee’s jurisdiction, such as Medicare,” wrote Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee.