Russell Brand has launched an attack on Topshop founder, Sir Philip Green, accusing the billionaire of unethical tax avoidance, and urging people to boycott the fast fashion retailer. The actor recently told the Huffington Post UK: "I don't mind some of the stuff they've got in Topshop. Some of the stuff they got in the vintage section is quite nice. But I think it would be better if we didn't get stuff out of Topshop." The Brit fast fashion chain recently released a collection "designed" by actress Kate Bosworth and announced that supermodel Kate Moss is in the process of working on a collection for the high street brand.
As for the tax evasion that Brand is referring to, his accusations (which, if they aren't true could certainly amount to a defamation claim on Green's behalf) stem from the Green's acquisition of the Arcadia Group. In 2002, Arcadia Group (the retail giant that owns brands including Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Burton, BHS and Miss Selfridge) was bought by Taveta Investments. Taveta is owned by the Green family, and the only director is Philip Green's wife Tina Green, who is a resident of Monaco. It emerged in 2005 that Arcadia had paid Sir Philip's wife a £1.2bn (approximately $1.9 billion) dividend, thereby avoiding UK income tax. Sir Philip has insisted that he and the company do pay all their taxes owed in Britain.