The Paris Opera is working hard on cutting costs. And why is that news in the Entertainment section? Because Natalie Portman’s husband, Benjamin Millepied, is a former director of the Opera who is now being accused of severely mishandling funds, over half of which come from public subsidies.
According to the BBC, the Opera’s bills for the 2013-2014 fiscal year included (converted to American dollar figures) $104,000 on taxis, $58,000 on meals and nearly $200,000 on an event that directors “can’t explain.” Millepied used a private car and a private chauffeur, the only member of the directors staff to do so. An auditor who combed through the Opera’s budget declared that Millepied’s spending was “not justified.”
Under new management, the bills have gone way down — according to the BBC, since Millepied left the organization, taxi expenses have dropped by 30 percent, and food costs are down by 10 percent.
There’s no word on whether Millepied will face any sort of discipline (criminal or otherwise) for his misuse of the company’s money. But the BBC does report that the Opera’s finances are “quite fragile” after years of misspending, so it may be the French citizens who subsidize the Opera who actually get punished for Millepied’s actions.
Here’s hoping Portman handles all the bills in their household, because Millepied doesn’t quite seem up to the task.
What do you think is the most surprising way Benjamin Millepied allegedly mishandled the Paris Opera’s public funds?
Before you go, check out our slideshow below: