Date
21 October 2017
Leonardo DiCaprio said he is cooperating with US authorities to determine if money donated to his foundation had come from questionable sources. Photo: Reuters
Leonardo DiCaprio said he is cooperating with US authorities to determine if money donated to his foundation had come from questionable sources. Photo: Reuters

DiCaprio vows to return gifts if from Malaysia fund 1MDB

Leonardo DiCaprio’s charitable foundation would return gifts or donations made to him or his ventures if they were found to have come from Malaysian wealth fund 1MDB, which is being investigated on money laundering allegations, his representatives say.

In his first comment on the multinational probe into the fund, the Oscar-winning actor said he was cooperating with US authorities to determine if money had come from questionable sources, Reuters reports, citing a statement from his representatives.

In July a Hollywood production company was accused in a US civil lawsuit of using US$100 million that prosecutors said had been diverted from the 1MDB fund to finance DiCaprio’s 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street, in which he starred.

In a statement on Tuesday, DiCaprio’s representatives said he had first learned of the probe through press reports in July.

“He immediately had his representatives reach out to the Department of Justice to determine whether he or his foundation, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF), ever received any gifts or charitable donations directly or indirectly related to these parties, and if so, to return those gifts or donations as soon as possible,” the statement said.

“All contact was initiated by Mr. DiCaprio and LDF,” it added.

The production company, Red Granite Pictures, has said that to its knowledge none of the money it received was illegitimate and that it had done nothing wrong.

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, set up in 1998, supports a range of environmental projects.

In August, the Hollywood Reporter published a story alleging that the actor’s foundation had benefited to the tune of some US$2 million from cash and in-kind donations made by a Malaysian financier, who was named in the US lawsuit as being involved in the creation of the 1MDB fund.

– Contact us at [email protected]

CG

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe