Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan has been banned from leaving his native Australia until he settles his long running tax dispute.
The actor, who lives in Los Angeles, flew into Sydney on Friday for the funeral of his 101-year-old mother and was served with a departure prohibition order. The papers, which prevent Hogan from leaving his homeland, stem from an ongoing investigation by officials at the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), who have been chasing Hogan for millions of dollars in allegedly unpaid taxes for several years.
The star's lawyer Andrew Robinson says, "He is stunned and very disappointed that the government could treat him as a flight risk. He denies the liability asserted by the ATO and has filed objections which have not been the subject of any response from the ATO. He will continue to defend his position through all available legal and other channels."
"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, and thereafter to travel to and from Australia as his personal and business needs require."
The investigation is focused on allegations that Hogan channeled millions of dollars into tax havens abroad.
In June, the actor lost an appeal to prevent his private tax records from being released into the public arena. He is now believed to owe a staggering $32.1 million after officials amended his bill in July.