The Oscar-winning actor’s charity and the production company behind Wolf of Wall Street have come under scrutiny for ties to a $3 billion embezzlement scandal.
When was the last time a celebrity scandal—not a body part—truly broke the internet? In the age of long lens paparazzi, 24/7 reality TV coverage and conscious uncoupling, we’ve been subsisting on cheap, disposable drama and scripted Bachelor breakups. Nobody thinks big anymore. Surprisingly, the man to finally bring some old school Hollywood glamour back to the celebrity scandal game may be none other than the founder of the pussy posse himself, Leonardo DiCaprio. Yes, it’s come to this.
In 2016, DiCaprio stuck it to malicious memers everywhere when he finally won an Academy Award. Having put himself through the physical and emotional ringer—i.e., growing an unflattering beard—for his critically acclaimed role in The Revenant, DiCaprio has found himself reduced to a bit part in an ongoing international saga. For anyone who’s unaware of the still-breaking Malaysian money laundering scandal (coming soon to a court near you), DiCaprio boasts a minor role as “Hollywood Actor 1.” According to filings from the Department of Justice’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative’s “largest single action” ever, the Wolf of Wall Street star is inextricably linked to a set of alleged criminal masterminds.
It’s a story as old as time—Hollywood actor mistakenly bankrolls his movie about a financial criminal through stolen Malaysian money. 2013’s Wolf of Wall Street was a famously risky investment that almost didn’t make it to theaters. Luckily, financial aid arrived in the form of a mysterious production company called Red Granite Pictures, which contributed more than $100 million to DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese’s project. At the time, many joked that DiCaprio’s role as a Quaaludes-popping, philandering party boy was art imitating life, but nobody guessed that the entire crime film was vaguely criminal. Who knew that Wolf of Wall Street was so layered and nuanced?
As relayed by The Hollywood Reporter, investigators believe that much of Red Granite Pictures’ funding was diverted from production company 1MDB, which was set up seven years ago by the prime minister of Malaysia to spur local economic development. Allegedly, the company ciphered $155 million over 9,000 miles through a series of offshore shell companies. Red Granite Pictures was set up in 2010 by Riza Aziz, the Malaysian prime minister’s stepson, and Christopher McFarland, a Kentucky businessman. These two like-minded individuals were introduced through their mutual friend, a Malaysian party boy by the name of Jho Low. Low was a fixture on the celebrity club circuit, a position he cemented by sending 23 bottles of Cristal to Lindsay Lohan at 1OAK for her 23rd birthday. Naturally, this is where our blue-eyed “Hollywood Actor 1” enters the scene, summoned by the invocation of “Cristal,” “Lindsay Lohan,” and “1OAK.”......MORE