Leonardo DiCaprio Pressured to Step Down from UN Climate Change Post
A Swiss environmental organization wants Leonardo DiCaprio to step away from his role as a United Nations Messenger of Peace for climate change, saying that unresolved issues relating to a financial scandal make him unfit to be an ambassador for environmental protection.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has a financial connection to Jho Low, a partying buddy of the star who is at the center of an embezzlement scandal currently being investigated by the Justice Department. Low has been accused of siphoning off more than $3 billion from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a sovereign wealth fund tied to the Malaysian government, and using it to buy extravagant items for personal consumption and partying with Hollywood A-listers like DiCaprio.
Red Granite Pictures, which has ties to Low and the Malaysian prime minister, acquired the rights to DiCaprio’s “Wolf of Wall Street.” The DOJ’s complaint also alleges funds were improperly diverted to purchase art at charity auctions benefiting the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
“Leonardo DiCaprio has consistently refused to explain his close personal and financial ties with key persons of the Malaysian 1MDB scandal,” Lukas Straumann, director of the Bruno Manser Fund, a Swiss rainforest charity, said at a press conference in London.
“This is unacceptable. If DiCaprio fails to distance himself from Malaysian corruption, he should resign as UN Messenger of Peace for climate change. We can’t save the environment if we fail to stop corruption.”