LOS ANGELES: Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio has denied a claim by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro that he had helped fund groups allegedly linked to fires in the Amazon rain forest.
“While worthy of support,” the 45-year-old DiCaprio said in a statement on his Instagram account, “we did not fund the organisations targeted.”
In his weekly broadcast on Thursday, Bolsonaro accused DiCaprio of “collaborating with the fires in the Amazon” by donating $500,000 to a group he said had started fires in the ecologically sensitive forest in order to attract donations.
While citing no evidence, Bolsonaro said that DiCaprio had earmarked a part of the $500,000 “for the people who were setting fires.” TheBrazilian president repeated the accusations on Friday.
DiCaprio, long an environmental activist, said in his denial that “the future of these irreplaceable ecosystems is at stake, and I am proud to stand with the groups protecting them.” He offered praise for those in Brazil who work “to save their natural and cultural heritage.”
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At this time of crisis for the Amazon, I support the people of Brazil working to save their natural and cultural heritage. They are an amazing, moving and humbling example of the commitment and passion needed to save the environment. The future of these irreplaceable ecosystems is at stake and I am proud to stand with the groups protecting them. While worthy of support, we did not fund the organizations targeted. I remain committed to supporting the Brazilian indigenous communities, local governments, scientists, educators and general public who are working tirelessly to secure the Amazon for the future of all Brazilians.