HARRY Potter star Emma Watson set up an offshore company 'to buy a £2.8million home' in London, the Panama Papers have revealed – but the star claims it was on PRIVACY grounds.
The actress, who played the part of Hermione Granger in Harry Potter, set up Falling Leaves Limited in the British Virgin Islands.
It is one of thousands of offshore companies that appear in a trove of millions of documents dubbed the Panama Papers obtained from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.
A spokesman for the star said the company was established to protect the actress’s privacy and not for tax reasons.
The actress, who earned around £100m from Harry Potter, is believed to have used her company to buy a £2.8m home in London.
The spokesman said: "UK companies are required to publicly publish details of their shareholders and therefore do not give her the necessary anonymity required to protect her personal safety, which has been jeopardised in the past owing to such information being publicly available.
"Offshore companies do not publish these shareholder details.
"Emma receives absolutely no tax or monetary advantages from this offshore company whatsoever — only privacy."
Miss Watson, 26, is the latest high-profile individual linked to the data leak that included details of a firm set up by Prime Minister David Cameron's late father.
Watson is said to be anxious over her security after a number of incidents including unwanted approaches by fans.
The company was among 200,000 entities published online by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on Monday.
The group said there are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts, adding that the presence of an entity in its database did not suggest or imply it had broken the law, nor that it was seeking to avoid paying tax.