DiCaprio urged by charity to step down from United Nations role

US actor Leonardo Di Caprio

The Bruno Manser Funds, a Switzerland-based charity, challenged DiCaprio at a Friday press conference in London to renounce his connections to the controversial Malaysian 1MDB fund, which is now under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department over $3 billion in embezzled funds.

The lawsuit claims that the actor's environmental protection charity, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, is one of the businesses to receive donations allegedly embezzled from the 1MDB fund.

BMF campaign manager Johanna Michel and executive director Lukas Straumann reportedly had valid tickets to attend the event at London's Leicester Square but were told by security officers and the Odeon theatre's box office manager that they were not allowed in.

DiCaprio's representatives said in Tuesday's statement that he had refrained from speaking about the matter until now "out of respect for (the) ongoing investigation, which has touched many charities, hospitals and individuals, who may have been unwitting recipients of funds now in question".

"If DiCaprio is unwilling to come clean, we ask him to step down as UN Messenger for Peace for climate change, because he simply lacks the credibility for such an important role", said the Director of the Switzerland-based charity, which has a particular focus on deforestation in Malaysia. "This is unacceptable. If DiCaprio fails to distance himself from Malaysian corruption, he should resign as United Nations messenger of peace for climate change", Mr. Straumann said. A foreign businessman used money from the Malaysian Fund to secure a White House visit for relatives of the Malaysian prime minister, according to public officials.

At the press conference, Straumann and others pointed out the "direct link" between the corruption scandal and the environmental issues affecting Malaysia. These funds were allegedly embezzled from Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd, known as 1MDB. Low is also considered to have a role in the scandal. The production company was co-founded by Razak's stepson, Riza Aziz.

And oh yeah. DiCaprio was snapped at the premiere of his new film Before the Flood, a documentary about climate change that will premiere on the National Geographic Channel on October 30.

DiCaprio is then alleged to have shoveled the funds directly into his charity, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

"He needs to become part of the solution", he added.

Mr. DiCaprio is an outspoken supporter of Hillary Clinton, herself and her family foundation accused of high level global corruption.

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