Socialite-Songwriter Denise Rich Renounces Citizenship

Jul 9, 2012 12:58pm
gty denise rich jef 120709 wblog Socialite Songwriter Denise Rich Renounces Citizenship

(Image credit: Dave M. Benett/amfAR12/Getty Images)

Denise Rich, 68, a Grammy-nominated songwriter, socialite and political fundraiser, renounced her American citizenship, likely saving tens of millions of dollars in future taxes.

Rich, the ex-wife of indicted commodities trader Marc Rich, surrendered her passport in November, according to her attorney.

The socialite was listed in the same quarterly Federal Register of Americans who renounced their citizenship  as Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. That list of 460 people, which also includes permanent residents who gave up their green cards, was published on April 30. Rich was listed under her maiden name, Denise Eisenberg.

On May 17, Sens. Schumer, D-N.Y., and Bob Casey, D-Pa., announced the “Ex-PATRIOT” – “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy” – Act in response to to Saverin’s move.  They propose re-imposing taxes on expatriates even after they flee the U.S. and  imposing a 30 percent tax on the capital gains of those who renounces their U.S. citizenship.

Among the popular songs Rich has written are Don’t Waste Your Time, a duet sung by Mary J. Blige and Aretha Franklin, nominated for a Grammy in 2000, and Mandy Moore’s Candy, co-written by Eisenberg.

Reuters reported Rich wants to move “closer to her family and to Peter Cervinka, her long-time partner,” according to Michael Heidt, a lawyer in Hollywood, Florida, who represented her in a recent lawsuit.

Cervinka, a wealthy property developer, is an Austrian national, and Rich has Austrian citizenship through her late father.

She plans to make London her main residence, where her two daughters live, Heidt said.

Her ex-husband, Marc Rich, whom she divorced in 1996, was indicted for tax evasion and illegal oil trading with Iran, among other charges. He fled the U.S. in 1983 but was given a controversial pardon by President Bill Clinton in 2001 during his last day in office.

The next year, a House of Representatives committee concluded his ex-wife had influenced the pardon through donations to the Clinton library and campaign.

In addition to her music career and ex-husband, Rich was also known for living large, including a 157-foot yacht, Lady Joy, and partying in St. Tropez with other celebrities.

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