In the wake of revelations that a company he's invested in has not been paying proper taxes, U2 frontman Bono has issued a statement promising to get to the bottom of what's going on.
Bono is what he terms "a passive minority investor" in Nude Estates 1, a Maltese company that planned to build a shopping center in Lithuania. Authorities there have begun an investigation into the company's tax compliance, and because of his celebrity, Bono's name has been mentioned in most stories about the situation.
In his statement Bono says that he would be "extremely distressed if even as a passive minority investor...anything less than exemplary was done with my name anywhere near it. I've been assured by those running the company that it is fully tax-compliant, but if that is not the case, I want to know as much as the tax office does, and so I also welcome the audit they have said they will undertake. I take this stuff very seriously. I have campaigned for the beneficial ownership of offshore companies to be made transparent. Indeed this is why my name is on documents rather than in a trust. The fact is, I welcome this reporting. It shouldn't take leaks to understand what's going on where. There should be public registries so that the press and public can see what governments, like Guernsey, already know."
While that's going on, Bono is prepping for the December 1 release of U2's next album, Songs Of Experience, and for U2's next set of tour dates, starting May 2 in Tulsa, Okla. The group will be receiving the Global Icon Award at the MTV European Music Awards (EMAs) on Sunday (November 12) in London and will be performing a special concert the night before in London's Trafalgar Square.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.