Famed actor Leonardo DiCaprio took the stand and testified against The Fugees member Pras Michel who is accused of participating in a global campaign-finance conspiracy.
Michel is on trial by himself, but the alleged mastermind of the conspiracy, Malaysian businessman Jho Low who allegedly stole billions of dollars from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, is still on the run.
DiCaprio was on the stand for about an hour, talking about his interactions with Low, who prosecutors said was introduced to the actor by Riza Aziz, the stepson of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak. Aziz has also been charged in the scandal.
DiCaprio then spoke about his dealings with Pras, which he testified was at a Fugees concert and added that Pras possibly could have been an attendee at one of his family’s Thanksgiving dinners. Still, DiCaprio says that he’s not sure.
DiCaprio was asked to identify Pras in the courtroom, which led to Pras leaning back and waving at the actor.
Pras is accused of helping Low make donations to political campaigns with the stolen money through a series of fake donors, and DiCaprio was asked to recall a conversation with Low about making a large contribution to the Democratic party.
DiCaprio explained, “It was a casual conversation about what party he was in support of, I told him what party I was in support of. And he told me that he, or he and a group, were going to make a significant contribution to the Democratic Party,” he said, noting the donation was around $20 million or $30 million. “I said ‘wow, that’s a lot of money.'”
DiCaprio spoke about Low offering to fund a movie for him after an extensive background check, DiCaprio’s team gave the actor the green light to make a deal with Low. This led to Low funding The Wolf of Wall Street, which led to DiCaprio shouting out Low while accepting a Golden Globe for “Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Film.”