Sean Connery will not be casting a ballot in Thursday's Scottish independence vote, the Edinburgh News reports. The former James Bond actor, who is reportedly a strong supporter of an independent Scotland, will not return to his homeland due to his tax exile status, his brother, Neil Connery, told the outlet. Connery lives in the Bahamas -- a tax haven.
“There’s only a certain amount of days Sean can be in the country for tax reasons, so I know that he intends to use them wisely,” Neil Connery said, adding his brother was reportedly in New York City last time the pair spoke.
The news comes after rumors circulated this summer the 84-year-old Connery couldn’t return to Scotland for health reasons. In July, Connery backed out of an appearance at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow after he underwent an eye operation, the Telegraph reported. In his latest interview, his brother denies health was a factor in the actor’s decision not to cast his vote.
“Last I heard from him he was in New York. He’s probably in better health than me!” Neil Connery said.
Connery has been a longtime supporter of the Scottish National Party. In a 2012 book on the political party “The Scottish National Party: Transition to Power,” authors James Mitchell, Lynn Bennie and Rob Johns cite Connery as being one of the party’s main donors in the 1990s, Business Insider reported. Since the referendum debate recently resurfaced, Connery has remained out of the spotlight -- he has not mentioned Scotland’s possible split in any recent engagements, speeches or interviews. The last the public heard from Connery on the topic was in a March interview with the Sun where he said, “a new sense of opportunity and hope for the future is now in sight.”
Ballots are only available to Scottish citizens and residents in the upcoming independence vote on Sept. 9. As an expatriate who lives in the Bahamas, Connery along with 800,000 other Scots that live abroad are not allowed to vote, Bloomberg reports.
Connery isn’t the only celebrity who has a position on whether Scotland should become an independent country or remain tied to the U.K. Frankie Boyle, The Proclaimers, Alan Cumming, Billy Bragg and Annie Lennox are supporters of Scottish independence. Meanwhile, JK Rowling, David Bowie, Eddie Izzard, Alex Ferguson, Mike Myers and Emma Thompson have said they want Scotland to stay in the union.