Leonardo DiCaprio took the stand Monday in the federal trial of a prominent ’90s rap artist accused of funneling money from a Malaysian financier who reportedly sought to donate tens of millions of dollars to President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.
The Hollywood star, who has partied with the fugitive money man, Jho Low, said the financier once casually dropped in a conversation that he hoped to make a huge contribution to Obama’s campaign.
“It was a significant sum — something to the tune of $20-30 million,” DiCaprio testified. “I said, ‘Wow that’s a lot of money!’”
Low allegedly recruited Prakazrel “Pras” Michel – the founding member of the iconic 1990s hip-hop group The Fugees – to funnel the money to Obama’s reelection bid as foreigners cannot donate to US campaigns under federal election law.
Michel took tens of millions of dollars to lobby the government on behalf of Low and the Chinese government as a whole, prosecutors alleged.
Much of the money was reportedly stolen. Low is accused of embezzling a whopping $4.5 billion from Malaysia’s state investment fund known as 1MDB.
DiCaprio, 48, was called as a witness due to his years-long relationship with Low, who he believed to be “a huge businessman” with connections in Abu Dhabi and Malaysia, he said. Low helped fund his 2013 movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” for which the star won a Golden Globe for best actor.
Low, who also donated to the “Titanic” star’s charity, was known among Hollywood A-listers for throwing lavish parties and inviting people on expensive vacations via his private jet. (Read more: New York Post, 4/03/2023) (Archive)