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Robert De Niro shrugs off Malaysian corruption scandal connection

Robert De Niro attends the 2010 Doha Tribeca Film Festival on October 30, 2010 in Doha, Qatar. 

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Robert De Niro isn’t afraid to be blunt when it comes to addressing an ongoing scandal. 

While Leonardo DiCaprio’s connection to the 1MDB Malaysian corruption scandal has gotten a lot of attention, De Niro’s Tribeca Film Institute has also received some scrutiny for taking a donation from the figures at the center of a wide-ranging fraud and embezzlement case. 

De Niro’s name appeared several times in connection with central figures in the case, part of an ongoing criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The actor told the Hollywood Reporter​ that he “didn’t know” how much the Jynwel Foundation had donated to the institute. The foundation is the philanthropic arm of Jho Low’s Jynwel Capital investment fund, which the DOJ claims made property investments in the U.S. using misappropriated 1MDB funds.

But De Niro didn’t appear to be too concerned about his connection when questioned about it. “I don’t care whether my name is associated with it. I didn’t do anything,” he said. “I’m aware of it, but I don’t give a s**t. When I have to tell something to somebody, I’ll answer to them and that will be it.”

De Niro also made it clear that the Institute would give back the money if needed.