Leo DiCaprio’s decision to pull out of hosting Tuesday’s Hillary Clinton fundraiser may not have been due his busy schedule after all, it has been suggested.
DiCaprio, 41, handed hosting duties for the $33,400-per-guest event over to Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, saying he had to finish his latest film for the Toronto Film Festival in September.
But now some are speculating that he dropped the show because his foundation has been linked to a $3billion embezzlement scheme – at a time when Clinton’s own foundation is under scrutiny, Page Six reported.
Approximately $3billion has been embezzled from 1MDB, a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.
According to the Justice Department, Jho Low, 35, a Malaysian businessman and drinking buddy of DiCaprio’s, spent an entire third of that sum by himself.
Low is said to have helped the LDF by buying marked-up champagne bottles at the actor’s birthday party in 2013 and paying $1.1million for art at an LDF-funding Christie’s auction.
He’s also said to have donated a Lichtenstein sculpture worth $700,000 to the LDF for another auction.
This, the Justice Department argues, is how DiCaprio’s foundation – which last year announced it had given $15million to global conservation efforts – became a cog in the globe-crossing scam.
Malaysian money is also said to have funded DiCaprio’s pet project ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ having been funneled into its production company, Red Granite Pictures.
But DiCaprio isn’t the only one with a foundation under scrutiny; the Clinton Foundation, used by Hillary and Bill Clinton has long been a target for Republican criticism.
It has taken donations from politically troublesome parties like Saudi Arabia and the private military contractor known as Blackwater (now Academi).
Questions were raised about whether some contributors to the foundation had been given preferential treatment during Clinton’s time as Secretary of State.
And just today Donald Trump demanded that the Clinton Foundation be investigated.
This, Page Six suggested, is the real reason DiCaprio won’t present the show Tuesday: To avoid questions about both Foundations at a crucial political time for Clinton.
However, it also quoted ‘a source close to DiCaprio’ who denied the claim.
‘Leo is stuck in New York until Wednesday to finish his current project in time for it to premiere at the Toronto Film Festival,’ the source said.
‘Not wanting to leave Hillary hanging, Leo called his friends Justin and Jessica and asked if they would host.’
DiCaprio’s documentary ‘The Turning Point,’ which chronicles his global warming awareness-raising efforts, will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, which starts September 8.
Also on Saturday, DiCaprio and supermodel girlfriend Nina Agdal, 24, were involved in a minor car accident in the Hamptons. Neither was hurt.