Leonardo di Caprio’s movie was financed from corrupt 1MDB Malaysian fund

Di Caprio spends much of his time posturing as an environmentalist and anti-corruption champion, but I am not very much impressed. He chooses to support whatever is in vogue or “politically correct” or can get publicity, with little exercise of mind. Right now he is in Indonesia protesting against the palm oil industry and the Indonesian government has even had to remind him that he could be deported for anti-government activities.

It now turns out that his 2013 movie “Wolf of Wall Street” was financed from the infamous Malaysian 1MDB fund.

Wall Street Journal:

Investigators believe much of the cash used to make the Leonardo DiCaprio film about a stock swindler originated with embattled Malaysian state development fund 1MDB.

Despite the star power of Leonardo DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese, the 2013 hit movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” took more than six years to get made because studios weren’t willing to invest in a risky R-rated project.

Help arrived from a virtually unknown production company called Red Granite Pictures. Though it had made just one movie, Red Granite came up with the more than $100 million needed to film the sex- and drug-fueled story of a penny-stock swindler.

Global investigators now believe much of the money to make the movie about a stock scam was diverted from a state fund 9,000 miles away in Malaysia, a fund that had been established to spur local economic development.

The investigators, said people familiar with their work, believe this financing was part of a wider scandal at the Malaysian fund, which has been detailed in Wall Street Journal articles over the past year.

The fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB, was set up seven years ago by the prime minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak. His stepson, Riza Aziz, is the chairman of Red Granite Pictures.

The 1MDB fund is now the focus of numerous investigations at home and abroad, which grew out of $11 billion of debt it ran up and questions raised in Malaysia about how some of its money was used. …..

…… The story of how “The Wolf of Wall Street” was financed brings together Hollywood celebrities with a cast of characters mostly known for their connections to the Malaysian prime minister. It detours through parties in Cannes and aboard a yacht, and spending on such embellishments as a rare, million-dollar movie poster and an original 1955 Academy Award statuette. ……. Shooting began in August 2012. Three months later, when Mr. DiCaprio had a birthday, the Red Granite principals forged a closer tie to him with an unusual gift: the Oscar statuette presented to Marlon Brando in 1955 for best actor in “On the Waterfront.” People who described the gift said the statuette had been acquired for around $600,000 through a New Jersey memorabilia dealer. …..

 

Wolf of Wall Street Financing (graphic WSJ)

Wolf of Wall Street Financing (graphic WSJ)

So, what’s new?


 

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