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Leonardo DiCaprio forced to return his Oscar trophy amid investment scandal



Leonardo DiCaprio forced to return his Oscar trophy amid investment scandal


Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar luck has continued to be awful, as he has been forced to return an Academy Award he was gifted three decades after waiting for his own trophy.

According to The New York Times, Malaysian banker Jho Low gave DiCaprio the statue as a gift, along with other valuable items such as a picture by Pablo Picasso and a collage by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

A New York Times article this week revealed new facts about the controversial figure who gave DiCaprio Marlon Brando’s Oscar after he acquired it for $600,000 at an auction. Low reportedly stole billions of dollars from a Malaysian government investment fund known as the 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund (1MDB) and is now a fugitive on the run from US authorities.

DiCaprio was also nominated for an Academy Award for his part in the 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street, which Low financed.

According to the New York Times, authorities claim that Low used funds stolen from a Malaysian government investment fund to support his lavish expenditures.

It was earlier reported in 2016 that the non-profit Transparency International had asked DiCaprio to hand over the award owing to its possible link to the Malaysian controversy.


The Hollywood Reporter claimed in June 2017 that DiCaprio had turned back the Oscar, as well as a picture by Pablo Picasso and any other presents given to him by Low.

In a statement at the time, DiCaprio’s representatives said: “Prior to the government’s filing of the civil pleading, Mr DiCaprio initiated return of these items, which were received and accepted by him for the purpose of being included in an annual charity auction to benefit his eponymous foundation.

“He has also returned an Oscar originally won by Marlon Brando, which was given to Mr DiCaprio as a set gift by Red Granite to thank him for his work on The Wolf of Wall Street.

“Mr DiCaprio is grateful for the support of the government in this effort, and continues to hope that justice is done in this matter.”

Interestingly (but not for DiCaprio), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is said to have the right to acquire the statue back from the government for $1 after the inquiry is completed.

Meanwhile, another item from Low is a piano owned by model Miranda Kerr, which her attorney says she’s prepared to return, according to The New York Times. However, because of the instrument’s size, it would most likely need the demolition of walls in her home to remove it, thus it’s still there.

Low reportedly bought a Monet and a van Gogh painting, as well as a $250 million (£199 million) super yacht with a theater and a helicopter pad and a $35 million (£28 million) Bombardier aircraft.

Low, 37, is believed to be a fugitive hiding in China, and the United States took up the probe because it has been “beencracking down on the flow of illegal moneythrough the American financial system.”

Red Granite Pictures, a firm that helped bankroll films including Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Wolf of Wall Street,” is also embroiled in the controversy.

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