Leonardo DiCaprio is well known and loved across America as one of the country’s leading movie stars, having starred in dozens of films since he began in the 1990s. Over the years, DiCaprio has become one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars and one of America’s most important sex symbols.
Perhaps due in part to his widespread popularity, DiCaprio hasn’t been afraid to get involved in politics, having campaigned for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, supporting Barack Obama in 2012, planning a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and raising funds for Joe Biden in 2020 during of the 2020 election cycle, DiCaprio also spoke about voting rights in a Netflix documentary.
One of DiCaprio’s key issues is climate change, and the actor has become one of the biggest voices in Hollywood speaking out for environmental protection and action on global warming. This was largely why he founded the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting environmental awareness, preserving the Earth’s biodiversity, and supporting renewable energy. DiCaprio has been recognized by numerous environmental groups over the past two decades for his work to protect the environment. However, according to a new report, DiCaprio’s numerous charities turns out to be a little more shady than we once thought.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s foundation allegedly funneled money through dark money groups
According to a new report from Fox News, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation allegedly used dark money organizations — organizations that aren’t required to disclose the identities of their donors — to funnel money into lawsuits against oil companies. Fox News highlighted a 2017 email exchange in which Dan Emmett, a philanthropist, and Ann Carlson, a UCLA climate professor, indicated that Chuck Savitt, an associate at the law firm Sher Edling, was already supporting Terry Tamminen, CEO of the DiCaprio Foundation.
“Chuck Savitt, who runs this new organization behind the lawsuits, has sought our support,” Emmett wrote to Carlson. “Terry Tamminen has been a key supporter in his new role at the DiCaprio Foundation.” Two months later, the DiCaprio Foundation publicly announced that it would be donating $20 million to various climate-related causes. “We’re proud to support the work of over 100 organizations at home and abroad,” DiCaprio said in a speech at Yale University at the time, according to The Climate Reporter. “These grantees are active on the ground… tackling the urgent, existential challenges of climate change.”
For her part, Sher Edling has indeed filed lawsuits against numerous fossil fuel companies and was even recruited by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison in 2020 to represent the state in his lawsuit against ExxonMobil Energy in Depth. As of August 15, neither Tamminen nor DiCaprio himself has publicly commented on the revelations.