Steven Seagal Takes Russian Land Previously Used For Sick Children
There is a lot of news coming out of Russia and Ukraine, mainly concerning Vladimir Putin’s aggressive incursion into the former member of the U.S.S.R. But according to Newsweek, more news is coming out of the country that doesn’t have anything to do with the leader of the country’s campaign to regain control of Ukraine, but instead about a former American action star. According to the report, the Russian government has gifted Steven Seagal a plot of land once planned to be used for children with cancer. But it will now be used by his company.
Newsweek reports that the Russian government has awarded The Gorki Holding Company, where Steven Seagal is a 26% owner, 20 acres of land in the Odintsovo District, a wealthy Rublevka area near Moscow. The land Seagal and his company are being given was initially registered with Moscow with plans to build a center intended to rehabilitate children with cancer. The new plan the action star has in mind for the land is to build an International Center for Martial Arts, something which Seagal is best known for in his films.
Steven Seagal has spent years building deeper and deeper connections in Moscow, including developing a close, personal relationship with Vladimir Putin himself. The Russian president personally presented the martial artist with a Russian passport in November 2016 when he was granted citizenship and has hosted him at his residence outside Moscow multiple times. When Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, Seagal caught a heavy amount of backlash by explaining his theory of why the Russian leader put the world on a precarious edge of war.
While Steven Seagal has enjoyed a long career as one of the most well-known action stars in the world that began in the 80s with films like Above the Law and Hard to Kill, he has a background in martial arts as a 7th-dan black belt in aikido.
He did four movies in four years before he became a star with his leading role as Casey Ryback in Under Siege, opposite Tommy Lee Jones, and kept the trend going through the 90s by starring with names like Michael Caine, Kurt Russell, and Keenan Ivory Wayans. He later started struggling to retain the respect of the people working with him as he gained the reputation of being difficult to work with. John Leguizamo claimed that during the filming of Executive Decision, the actor knocked him into a brick wall.
With the ramping up of the #MeToo movement, Steven Seagal’s history of allegations came front and center, making him one of the faces of the problem. While he got his own reality series following his real-life law enforcement work, Steven Seagal: Lawman, the series was suspended in light of a sex trafficking charge that was eventually dropped. He also faced lawsuits in 1995, 2010, 2011, 2017, and 2018 for sexual harassment, including an allegation by Jenny McCarthy, who accused him of asking her to undress during an audition.
Steven Seagal has lineage connecting him to Russia in the form of paternal grandparents who immigrated from there, and he has vowed that he will never denounce his newly acquired citizenship. The acquisition of the plot of land is worth $13 million and the plans to build himself a martial arts school seem to point that he is firmly planted in Russian culture.