The man whose biography the film ‘Wolf of Wall Street film’ is based on has come out with a stinging criticism of the movie’s producers, calling them “criminals”.
However, Red Granite Pictures declined to respond to the remarks by former stockbroker Jordan Belfort.
“We have no comment,” a Red Granite spokesperson told Malaysiakini via email.
Belfort (photo) made the disparaging remarks about the production firm in an interview with Swiss financial news site finews.com last Thursday.
“The movie’s a huge success, and then it turns out the guys who financed it were criminals. And this guy Jho Low.
“Leo (Leonardo DiCaprio, who portrays Belfort in the movie) got sucked in. Leo’s an honest guy.
“But I met these guys, and said to (my fiance) Anne (Koppe)‚ ‘these guys are f***ing criminals’,” Belfort said.
Red Granite chief executive Riza Aziz – the stepson of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak – and Low are central figures in the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) civil forfeiture suits involving 1MDB.
The DOJ claimed that Red Granite received US$64 million (RM283.5 million at current rates) that was traced back to 1MDB.
The production firm has denied knowingly using illicit funds to finance production of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’.
Belfort claimed he knew something was off about the people behind the award-winning movie when they held a launch party at the Cannes Film Festival even before production started.
“They must have spent US$3 million (RM13.29 million) on a launch party.
“They flew in Kayne West, and I said to Anne, ‘this is a f***ing scam, anybody who does this has stolen money’.
“You wouldn’t spend money you worked for like that,” he said.
He added that once the film went into production, the producers had offered to give him US$500,000 to go to Las Vegas to spend time with DiCaprio.
However he said he refused and was thus sidelined from media coverage of the film.
The DOJ civil forfeiture suit claims that Low had used US$1.15 million of 1MDB funds to gamble with Riza and DiCaprio.
Malaysiakini has contacted Low to comment on the Belfort’s statement.