Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Leonardo DiCaprio’s St. Tropez Bash Made $15 Mil Less Than Last Year, Even with Madonna, Sean Penn, and Lenny Kravitz as Attractions


This past week, Leonardo DiCaprio’s St. Tropez bash for his personal foundation raised $30 million according to the group’s announcement. That’s $15 million less than last year’s $45 million.

This is even though Madonna performed for the Euro crowd, as did Lenny Kravitz. Sean Penn, Jennifer Lawrence, and Tobey Maguire were among the guests. Models were shipped in from the factories where they are made in heaven and other planets. They were built to Leo’s specifications.

Wednesday night’s bash in St. Tropez for the Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation had some noticeable differences from last year:  the “step and repeat” backdrops that in past years featured the very private Julius Baer bank of Switzerland and Chopard Jewelry simply read “Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.” Julius Baer is still presumably the sponsor. But last year –as I reported exclusively– they were fined $547 million by the US government in 2016. DiCaprio obviously doesn’t want that public association.

Leo and his foundation have come under a lot of scrutiny in the last year. The foundation doesn’t file a form 990 and has no transparency whatsoever– have been part of the investigation into missing public funds from Malaysia that were used to make “The Wolf of Wall Street” among other things.

Earlier this year, DiCaprio had to return very expensive art work and jewelry that he said was donated by the Malyasians under investigation (including the stepson the country’s president). Those items, his reps said, were supposed to be auctioned off at the St. Tropez event. I guess without them, the night’s till was substantially down.

There were plenty of items for sale anyway. Most remain available. According to the website for the live art auction conducted by Simon dePury, 17 pieces of art sold that night. But about 100 pieces remain unsold. Similarly 9 “unique items and experiences” remain without bids.

So these numbers– $45 million, $30 million– don’t make much sense. The most successful charities in the world, with celebs, models, etc, are happy to take in $4 million tops for an evening like this.  But we’ll never know the real numbers because the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation hides under an umbrella group in California and doesn’t offer any documentation of its income or expenses. Because of that we will never know how much Leonardo’s foundation– which boasts a big staff of executives–paid to bring the models and the celebs to St. Tropez, house them, etc.

Meantime, Julius Baer bank– which handles Leo’s money and the foundation’s– has announced they are moving their wealthy European clients from Germany to Luxembourg. Why? They say it’s because of Brexit. But it’s also for more secrecy for all their clients.

In other Julius Baer news, last month one of their former bankers pleaded guilty</a> in the ongoing investigation of money laundering and FIFA, the international soccer organization.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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