Madonna has been accused by a Russian legislator of violating tax and migration laws after allegedly performing a commercial concert in St. Petersburg with the wrong visa, and then failing to pay proper taxes on the money she made.
The charges come eight months after Madonna’s concert at the city’s sports and music center Peterburgsky, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “I don’t like that someone collected Russians’ money and didn’t pay taxes,” legislator Vitaly Milonov said, according to the RIA Novosti wire service, adding that Madonna made $1.1 million from the concert. The prosecutor’s office is set to rule on whether Madonna did violate these laws, though at the time, the agency wouldn’t comment on the situation.
Last year, Madonna stirred controversy in Russia by voicing her support for Pussy Riot while in Moscow, then advocating for gay rights in St. Petersburg. Milonov, coincidentally, is the author of the city’s controversial anti-gay law, which came into effect last year and prohibits the “propagation of homosexuality” and “promotion of gay lifestyles.”
Russia’s foreign ministry seconded Milonov’s visa claim, pointing out that Madonna had been issued a single-entry, three-month visa upon invitation from the culture ministry. It reportedly limits the purpose of her visit to “cultural relations” – in order to perform, Madonna would have needed a work permit.