Leo DiCaprio raised $25 million for his foundation, for tigers or something


As I mentioned yesterday, Leonardo DiCaprio was/is in St. Tropez. On Wednesday night, he held a big-donor fundraiser for his foundation. Now that he’s in Europe, he has graciously allowed his girlfriend Toni Garrn to come onto his pleasure yacht, although she can only come aboard if she appreciates his sweet karate moves. Another prerequesite? She must be okay with Leo hiding behind umbrellas so that they won’t ever be photographed together. I’m including one of the umbrella photos – that was before the fundraiser, on Wednesday afternoon.

I’m also including some pics of Leo and Toni on Thursday, post-fundraiser, as he didn’t seem to mind that they were photographed swimming and sunbathing together. With the drops of water on his beer gut glistening in the sunlight. Ah, St. Tropez. A sunny place for rich old men and their 23-year-old model girlfriends.

As for Leo’s fundraiser, it was called The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Launch Gala. Or something. I guess that was the formal name? Sure. Some big name celebrities turned out: Robin Thicke, Selena Gomez, Bono, Marion Cotillard, Julian Lennon and more. Leo auctioned off his Harley-Davidson motorcycle, which he, Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNrio had signed. Bono auctioned off one of his guitars. Leo also auctioned off a walk-on role in one of his next films. All in all, he raised $25 million. So what does the money go towards? Animals, conservation… something like that. Leo told the crowd:

“The wild species that depend on us to protect their habitat, like Tigers whose numbers have plummeted to under 3,200 left in the wild, or African elephants, who are being slaughtered at a rate of over 30,000 a year for their ivory tusks — they have no voice. We must be their ambassadors. We must be their protectors. We must stop their slaughter.’

[From The Daily Mail]

Wanting to stop the slaughter of elephants and tigers is a noble endeavor. But if I had the millions of dollars to donate to help stop the slaughter, I think I would give it to the World Wildlife Fund or the International Fund for Animal Welfare, you know? I’ve just started to develop a real aversion to these celebrity foundations where it seems like half the donated money is just going towards bloated media budgets or bloated paychecks to the celebrity’s relatives. Lukas Haas is probably on the “board” of Leo’s foundation, I’m just saying.



Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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32 Responses to “Leo DiCaprio raised $25 million for his foundation, for tigers or something”

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  1. Lilacflowers says:

    Leo. Showers. Take one. Please.

  2. Lucy2 says:

    If they put it to good use, I’m going to say that’s fantastic and leave it at that.

  3. Abbott says:

    I don’t want to hate on him too much for raising awareness and money (oh yes you do, Abbott) but I am wondering what kind of carbon footprint that floating brothel he calls a “yacht” leaves. Huh.

    • jane says:

      That’s my thought also. Is he “breaking even” on his environmental help?

      • Chris says:

        That’s the question. Does his advocacy reduce more greenhouse gas than his playboy lifestyle produces? And why hasn’t a journalists asked him this?

      • minime says:

        You’re spot on Chris. That’s a question I would actually pay to see the answer and I would love if he would also be asked about the environmental damage that was provoked in Thailand when shooting “The beach”.

        @ Abbott: It is nice that he’s raising awareness. Still, I join you in the questioning part. I wonder how it really is with money. I always wonder how it works with this celebrity foundations in terms of evading taxes or using legal subterfuges to keep more money in their accounts (not that I’m saying that is what happens in this case, it is just a general question I have). They make these lavish parties, where they all get there in their jets, eat caviar from endangered species, while raising money from spending money, that will translate exactly in what? Well, maybe that is better than nothing? Still, it does sound a tad hypocrite, attending the life style.

    • Belinda says:

      Precisely. This is the guy who took a private jet to get to his fundraiser. I gather he built a state of the art environmentally conscious house but he spends his time flying from vacation yatch to vacation yatch, just because.

      Theres something very cynical about how he has latched onto this very sexy cause. He gets good mainstream press and associated with an issue nobody can quarrell with. All without doing what every human being on the planet should be doing; taking personal responsibility for changing climates (and by extension habitats) and making real everyday sacrifices (and oh what a sacifice it would be if Leo just took a public flight or didnt have to vacation on every single coastline on earth

      • hutter says:

        I agree with you on the hypocrisy charge and Leo is rather on the forefront of that. Here he is raising funds for a foundation dedicated to what we could generally refer to as environmental work whilst staying on a gas guzzling mega-yacht. However, I don’t think it’s fair to accuse him of cynicism and “latching on” to a cause. He’s been passionate about the enviornment and animals forever. If you go back and read interviews with him when he was just starting out and not the huge star that he is yet, many journalists note how he goes on and on about animals and the enviornment.
        What it is with him is the case with a lot of celebrities: They do care very strongly about an injustice and because they’re in the arts they tend to get very emotional. But they don’t necessarily get how they’re perceived and they like to ignore their hypocrisy and sins of commission.
        I guess the question is (and this seems up to every individual to answer for themselves) whether they’re philanthropic and/or charitable efforts outweigh the “harm” they cause.

      • Abbott says:

        @hutter But maybe he should practice what he preaches? The last time he did this, he spoke in DC for some water conservation summit, then immediately took a private jet to Brazil to party on another mega yacht.

      • hutter says:

        @Abbott: Absolutely he should. And I don’t understand how he doesn’t have advisors, managers etc. telling him that.

      • Abbott says:

        @hutter He’s either surrounding himself with ‘yes men’ or he is deliberately ignoring their advice, right? Is he this clueless? He’s supposed to be the smartest person on Twitter!

  4. hutter says:

    I wonder how Leo knows Julian Lennon? He seems such a random person to be there.

  5. mkyarwood says:

    If I had millions of dollars to give to a cause, I’d put it toward finding the kidnapped women and girls in Nigeria.

  6. Kat says:

    He really let himself go. He looks much older than 40.
    On another note good on him for caring about the environment.

  7. Dawn says:

    Hey I am giving kudos here. At least it isn’t for his mother’s church like a certain other person we know. Wild life need our help more now and any money that goes their way is a good thing. Good for Leo.

  8. lower-case deb says:

    wow that’s a lot of money! i think he’s a good fundraiser. (i know this is comparing apples and oranges), but i think Brad’s MIR gala only raised like 5mil?

    and i think this is a noble cause to back. wildlife needs all the help it can get.

    and regarding his foundation, i guess it’s operating well and above board? because celebrity foundations tend to be scrutinized closely by the media who’s waiting for a juicy fall-from-grace type story all the time… anything for one small misstep.

    (eg Lady Gaga’s foundation).

    on donating to WWFund etc, maybe Leo’s foundation is working together with WWF or give grants to long-established foundations.

  9. maybeiamcrazy says:

    Everybody has different objectives and passions when it comes to charities. I find the new trend of judging people based on their choice of charity works nonsensical. He is helping to raise huge amount of money for a charity.
    But I have to say, I find his fondness to yachts hypocritical.

    • eliza says:

      + 100.

      The yachting, however, is not bugging me. There are many celebrities who use nothing but private planes and yachts yet rant on about the environment. Many of us are hypocrites as well. I own a car. I am not always good at recycling. I admittedly am not always great about things I should be.

  10. Maria says:

    it is true that lots of celeb foundations are sketchy. but lots of bigger are also. they have huge amount for administration, i think most bigger ones have about 30% of their money going into administration.
    just a few weeks ago Greenpeace was found out to have used donations to speculate at the stock market and losing everything.

    i always wonder why some cancer foundations pay their executives hundres of thousands each year. im fine with paying them. but do they really need 500k to 800k a year? how much money actually goes into cancer research then? are they even interested? if cancer is cured they would lose their well paying jobs.

  11. Tig says:

    I agree with observations about long term behaviors re yacht useage, but wildlife needs all the help it can get now. Tiger populations are esp threatened. Good for him for raising awareness and $$$.

  12. Sixer says:

    I’m inclined to agree that Leo (and all of us) would be better donating what we can, or the proceeds of our rich-and-famous-buddies fundraisers, to cost-effective charities. The ones run by celebrities are very often incredibly wasteful and, worryingly, so are even some of the biggest names in the charity field.

    I go for people rather than animals. And the developing world over the developed world. Just a personal choice; not saying it’s better than anyone else’s charitable choices. If anyone reading feels the same, look at http://www.givingwhatwecan.org, which has evidence-based recommendations for charities that give the most bang for your donated buck.

  13. Black orchid, says:

    Well , i guess Leo is doing a good thing ,dude party’s hard ,works hard , thats is way of life i guess can’t shade him for that , there plenty of folks (like Kevin Richardson) who need serious funding for maintaining wildlife habitats or else sometime it results in putting them out due to the lack of funds
    Buzzfeed actuallly has a lovely poem based on these pics!!

  14. TheCountess says:

    Aside from Marion Cotilliard and Bono, that’s a pretty c-list sample of celebrity attendees. Was Bieber’s schedule not open?

  15. Liz says:

    MIA45, thanks for posting the link that Leo is not required to provide public accounting of his foundation. That just doesn’t seem smart. Even if he is completely above broad, this invites a lot of scammers who want to enrich themselves and their family and friends. This is why I don’t see all “charities” as being all good.