Leonardo DiCaprio just got caught up in a scandal that sounds like it’s straight out of one of his movies.
Basically, DiCaprio has ties to some of the same people who have paid bribes tied to deforestation in Malaysia, and now, the Bruno Manser Fund, a Swiss rainforest charity, is asking DiCaprio to give up his Messenger of Peace role at the United Nations.
DiCaprio has been serving in the United Nations since 2014, pushing for climate change research and regulations all over the world. According to Lukas Straumann, director of the Bruno Manser Fund, DiCaprio “simply lacks the credibility for such an important role,” and should step down.
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DiCaprio’s name was included in some court papers related to a lawsuit filed in July seeking to seize $1 billion in assets from 1MDB, a company owned by Malaysia’s government that allegedly paid bribes to encourage deforestation of the rain forests in the country.
The Malaysian prime minister is named in the lawsuit, and so is his stepson, Riza Aziz, who owns the production company that produced DiCaprio’s 2013 hit The Wolf of Wall Street. Court documents claim the film was used to launder funds for 1MDB, and that DiCaprio received laundered money for his charitable foundation.
“Leonardo DiCaprio needs to understand that we can’t save the environment if we fail to stop corruption. And he has to come clean on his ties to Riza Aziz and [Malaysian financier] Low Taek Jho, two key figures of Malaysia’s 1MDB corruption scandal,” Straumann wrote in an open letter about the scandal.
DiCaprio’s reps haven’t yet commented.
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