Jho Low and the Wolf of Wall Street

Jho Low and the Wolf of Wall Street: how Malaysian businessman ‘hooked up DiCaprio’

The movie “Wolf of Wall Street” had Leonardo DiCaprio in the starring role and high-living Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho played a part in making it happen.

In an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post, Low revealed that it was he who introduced DiCaprio to Red Granite Pictures, a US film production company whose co-founder and chairman is Riza Aziz, a stepson of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and a son of Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor.

This led to DiCaprio playing Jordan Belfort, the lead character in the movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street”, which was produced by Red Granite.

“The irony is amazing” that Low, who is alleged to have committed financial fraud, was involved in a movie about financial fraud, said a Malaysian analyst. Low has denied the allegations.

“I’ve known Leo for many years and through the Jynwel Foundation, we are actively involved in environmental conservation projects around the world” said Low, who was born in Penang, Malaysia, in November 1981 but has lived in Hong Kong since 2010.

From the bucolic island resort of Penang, Low grew up to become man-about-town in New York and London, parlaying big deals and partying with the rich, powerful and beautiful. DiCaprio was just one of many Hollywood friends he made along the way. Others included hotel chain heir Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.

In 2012, after the Low family took a “substantial, but non-controlling stake” in EMI Music Publishing, one of the world’s leading music publishers in 2012, Low also become friends with numerous artists such as Alicia Keys.

Breaking his silence on his alleged role in the troubled Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, Low agreed to be interviewed at his office in Central, a posh marble-clad interior with several sliding doors, evoking an aura of mystery. One of the doors slid open silently, and he emerged, in a sharp black suit — a stark picture of contrast from online images of him partying in black V-neck tees and Hollywood stars draped all over his sweaty arms.

“I’m good friends with Riza,” Low admitted, adding that he has known Riza for 16 years since Low studied at the prestigious school Harrow in the UK while Riza studied at a nearby school.

“Through Riza, I met his parents,” Low said.

Low’s spokesperson denied allegations that he has acted as a business front man for Najib or his wife, and insisted that his dealings with Riza were limited to the the real estate transactions conducted “at arm’s length fair market value.”

The spokesperson confirmed media reports that his family had bought prime real estate in New York and Los Angeles for an estimated US$42 million, and later sold it to Riza for a hefty profit.

Jho Low and the Wolf of Wall Street: how Malaysian businessman ‘hooked up DiCaprio’
13 March, 2015 – SCMP


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