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Leonardo DiCaprio has given secret testimony to a Washington, D.C. grand jury over his role in a multibillion-dollar Malaysian corruption scandal that ensnared the Hollywood star, his film The Wolf of Wall Street and its production company Red Granite Pictures, according to a report Friday in The Washington Post.
DiCaprio’s reps did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and a U.S. Department of Justice spokesperson offered no comment on the press report.
Grand jury testimony is given behind closed doors, so there’s no indication of what DiCaprio may have said. A spokesperson for DiCaprio in 2016 told The Hollywood Reporter that the actor supported “all efforts to assure that justice is done” after the DoJ first connected DiCaprio and his environmental charity to the Malaysian corruption scandal.
The DoJ probe is understood to have investigated alleged ties between the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and a Malaysian embezzlement scheme where more than $3 billion was withdrawn from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund called 1 Malaysian Development Berhad (1MDB).
While the DoJ probe has not targeted DiCaprio, the Post report indicates the star is considered a witness to an alleged conspiracy that used proceeds from the 1MDB fund to finance The Wolf of Wall Street.
An earlier exposé in THR looked into the workings of the DiCaprio’s foundation and questioned its ties to 1MDB and its lack of transparency, as well as the star’s relationship with controversial Malaysian businessman Jho Low and Riza Aziz, the stepson of the Malaysian prime minister and co-founder of Red Granite Pictures.
DiCaprio’s connection to the 1MDB scandal can be traced back to October 2009 and his relationship with Low. Still in his late 20s yet newly flush with what the government claims was $700?million in allegedly siphoned 1MDB funds, the Malaysian had embarked on a wild U.S. shopping spree — regularly dropping millions of dollars in A-list nightclubs as he attempted to lure celebrities into his paid-for orbit. In addition to DiCaprio, Paris Hilton and Jamie Foxx were among those drawn in by his spending spree, and he reportedly dated Miranda Kerr.
Low received a “special thanks” for his part in financing The Wolf of Wall Street, before the U.S. government in November 2018 brought criminal charges against him and two bankers for allegedly looting the 1MDB fund. His whereabouts remain unknown.
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