Leonardo DiCaprio is well-known for his work as a leading man in biopics and period movies. In addition to his outstanding acting abilities, Leonardo is also renowned for his tendency to offer help to others. It was recently reported that DiCaprio’s foundation donated grants to the Resources Legacy Fund, a dark money group, which subsequently gave it to a private law firm suing oil firms over climate change.
According to Fox News, the non-profit foundation of actor Leonardo DiCaprio funneled grants through a dark money group. The non-profit foundation of actor Leonardo DiCaprio funneled grants through a dark money group. They did it to fund lawsuits against oil companies for allegedly deceptive climate change claims, a series of emails have suggested.
According to correspondence from 2017, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) was a “key supporter” of the law firm Sher Edling, which has sued oil firms on behalf of both state and local governments. Sher Edling’s lawsuits were funded by the Collective Action Fund for Accountability, Resilience, and Adaptation, which is managed by the dark money group Resources Legacy Fund (RLF). Another tax-exempt group called ‘Government Accountability & Oversight’ sent the emails to the outlet.
RLF gave more than $5.2 million to legal firm Sher Edling between 2017 and 2020, according to tax filings obtained by Fox. While the group does not disclose its donors, emails obtained by GAO through litigation indicate that DiCaprio’s foundation was involved in supporting lawsuits brought against major oil companies on behalf of several states, including Delaware, Minnesota, and Rhode Island, as well as cities such as New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Baltimore, and Honolulu.
The lawsuits claim that the companies misled the public about climate change and demand that the companies accept responsibility for rising sea levels. The emails were obtained through litigation, according to the GAO. Screenshots of the group’s 2017 emails show Dan Emmett, a major philanthropist, contacting Ann Carlson, then a climate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). According to the emails, the pair helped Sher Edling with its fundraising efforts. The email notably mentions Terry Tamminen, the DiCaprio foundation’s CEO at the time.
DiCaprio’s foundation announced a $20 million contribution to several environmental causes two months after the emails were sent. The announcement was later removed from the group’s website, but GAO was able to retrieve it via a web archive. The RLF was given a grant to “support precedent-setting legal actions to hold major corporations in the fossil fuel industry liable for the effects of climate change pollution,” according to the announcement. This was similar to the terminology used by Savitt in his email to Emmett.
Let’s see if Leonardo ever gets around to addressing this. To get the latest updates, keep an eye on Thirsty.
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