If you are looking for the usual incisive Power Line analysis of the news, skip this post. It is mostly frivolous.
OK, then. If you are still reading, you may recall that Bar Refaeli has long been my favorite model. She has been in the public eye for quite a while, but lately has been in the news for the wrong reason: she was charged with tax evasion in her native Israel. The case has dragged on for a long time, but has finally been resolved via guilty pleas by Bar and her mother.
Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli was convicted by a Tel Aviv court Monday of tax evasion, fined 2.5 million shekels – about $730,000 – and ordered to serve nine months of community service.
Both women [Bar and her mother] signed a plea deal last month as part of a years-long criminal probe into the model, who was accused of falsely claiming she lived with then-beau Leonardo DiCaprio in the US rather than Tel Aviv.
Dating DiCaprio was a lapse in judgment, but she was young then. Bar’s lawyers claimed victory, sort of:
Refaeli’s lawyers said the plea bargain proved she hadn’t intentionally evaded tax payments.
“In the relevant time period, Bar was in her early 20s, was working as an international model and was not involved in financial matters,” they said in a recent statement.
That is easy to believe. Those were the days when Bar was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, more than once if I am not mistaken.
Personally, I find it easy to believe that this young lady’s thoughts did not long dwell on matters of taxes and finance. Plus, she was working hard: it wasn’t just the cover shot, she had to pose for lots and lots of pictures. For example:
Is it easy for a young working girl to keep up with financial matters? No. No, it is not. And she was working a lot of overtime:
One can imagine that the accountants were in charge of taxes. And, in any event, how do you know where your legal residence is when you are constantly jetting around the world for photo shoots?
Moreover, these tax troubles date from the distant past. Since her ill-advised DiCaprio days, Bar has gotten married and had three children. She has become a prominent spokeswoman for her Israeli homeland and a television personality and businesswoman as well as, still, a successful model.
She starred recently in a dynamite commercial. You can tell it was a dynamite commercial because it was banned from television:
So, like many of us, Refaeli committed a few indiscretions in her youth, but has since matured and become a model citizen. Also, trying to beat the tax man is not, in the view of some, a fatal indiscretion.