Actor Paul Hogan has launched a fresh attack on Australian tax officials after leaving the country amid an ongoing battle over alleged unpaid tax bills.
The Crocodile Dundee star was banned from leaving Australia after he was served with an Australian Taxation Office (ATO) order last month (Aug10) following his arrival in Sydney to attend his mother's funeral.
He was given permission to leave on Friday (03Sep10) and returned to his adopted Los Angeles on Sunday (05Sep10), where he dismissed reports that ATO bosses had lifted the ban after "cordial" discussions.
Hogan told reporters: "It wasn't friendly. They let me out because of the bad publicity around the world. It was sort of, 'What? You get kept in there (Australia)? Guilty until proven innocent?' Their words were 'Shut up, you can leave. You've got seven days.'
"I have come to this great tax haven, the USA, where the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) are gentlemen compared to our lot."
The 70 year old is accused of using offshore bank accounts to conceal his earnings and is said to owe $32.1 million (£21.4 million).
But he insists he won't let the scandal prevent him from returning to his homeland for Christmas (10).
He adds: "It's only a couple of a**holes who treated me badly. They're not going to trap me there again. They wouldn't dare.''