The Great Gatsby crowd partied on last night well after their cha-cha at the Plaza Hotel in a mostly no press scene. The gang moved on to the Darby, the pale imitation of long shuttered Nell’s on West 14th St. Among the guests: Leonardo DiCaprio’s latest best friend to be arrested, art dealer and high stakes poker player Helly Namhad. Helly is at least the second Gatsby type character to be bff’s with DiCaprio–which maybe is why Leo is so good in the role. He’s seen it all close up.
From around 1997 to 2001, DiCaprio was inseparable from fake money manager Dana Giacchetto. He lived in Giacchetto’s Soho loft, traveled with him, and took advice from him. Leo also invested his money with Giacchetto. It ended very badly, of course. Giacchetto was running a massive Ponzi scheme and stealing from his clients. Leo reportedly lost millions, Giacchetto went to jail, with a five year sentence. He was ordered to pay $14 million restitution. GIacchetto’s Hollywood friendships were over in seconds.
Now DiCaprio is apparently standing by Helly, as he’s known, even though he’s out on bail after his Madison Avenue art gallery was shut down by the government recently. Helly allegedly, according to reports, is part of a massive international gambling ring.To fund it, the government alleges Helly stole $1.35 million from his own father, who started the art gallery, so Helly could participate in a fraud for money he didn’t even need. Helly, if convicted, could get a maximum sentence of 92 years. Of course, he could be innocent.
Photos of Leo and Helly are all over the internet, on party websites and photo pages like WireImage, etc.
It’s not many Hollywood stars who’ve seen two best friends led away in handcuffs. But DiCaprio may just be doing research.