English actress Emma Watson, famous for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series, set up an offshore company using Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, according to newly-released data.
Luke Windsor, Watson's spokesman, responded to the news by saying that Watson set up the company purely for reasons of privacy, and she does not gain any financial benefit or tax advantage from doing so, CNN Money reports.
Windsor pointed out that Watson's safety had been compromised in the past when such information became public knowledge. While companies in the U.K. are required to publish shareholder information, offshore companies, such as the one Watson set up, do not publish those details.
"Emma (like many high profile individuals) set up an offshore company for the sole purpose of protecting her anonymity and safety," Windsor wrote in an email statement.
News of Watson's name within the massive Panama Papers leak was first broken by The Spectator, after the source of the leak released more information in a searchable database on May 9.
The data shows that Watson set up a company called Falling Leaves Ltd. in the British Virgin Islands in 2013, CNN Money notes.
There are many reasons to open an offshore bank account, and many of them are legal. The release of the Panama Papers has led to a political fallout in many countries around the world -- as far away from each other as Iceland, Peru and Pakistan -- as some of these countries' top political leaders have been implicated in the leaks.