At one point, the Australian government accused Paul Hogan, now 72, and his business manager of owing $156 million in taxes, which in my mind sounds at least 15 times higher than all of the money Paul Hogan could’ve possibly made in his entire lifetime. Jesus Christ, next you’ll tell me Yahoo Serious is the Sultan of Brunei (SCRIPT IDEA: “Seriously Sultan,” starring Yahoo Serious and Miley Cyrus in a fish-out-of-water tale of mistaken identity). Anyway, Hogan’s life seemed to be circling the dunny back in 2010 when he was barred from leaving Australia after returning to attend his mother’s funeral (he lives in LA). But the criminal case against him was dropped later that year, and this week, he and the tax office have reportedly settled the bill for an undisclosed fair dinkum.
The terms of the settlement, according to the Australian press, reached after mediation by a former judge, remain confidential, and the Australian Taxation Office declined to comment. A public announcement noted only that an agreement had been negotiated “without admission,” meaning that there was no assignment of wrongdoing to either party.
The first “Crocodile Dundee” movie, which was made with a budget of less than $10 million and focuses on the unlikely romance between an Australian bushman and a New York reporter who goes to the outback to interview him, was released in the United States in 1986 and earned $175 million at the box office. That made it the second most popular film of that year, after “Top Gun,” and it was also a hit not only in Australia, where it made another $50 million, but also around the world, with an estimated total box office of more than $325 million.
As the settlement was announced Mr. Hogan’s lawyer, Andrew Robinson, criticized the tax inquiry as a waste of taxpayers’ money, saying it may have cost more than $20 million. He also suggested that Mr. Hogan, who has largely been inactive in recent years, might soon be back with a new project. “ Who knows, now that this monkey is off his back?” Mr Robinson said. [NYTimes]
Hogan himself was said to have remarked, “Monkey? That’s not a monkey. THIS is a monkey,” at which point he pointed at a koala bear. I’m telling you, the guy’s losing it.