In 2017 Leonardo DiCaprio willingly returned the Best Actor Oscar that Marlon Brando won for his role in 1954's On the Waterfront

By Emily Zauzmer
December 11, 2018 11:40 AM

In 2017, Leonardo DiCaprio willingly returned the Best Actor Oscar that Marlon Brando won for his role in 1954’s On the Waterfront.

Although it happened more than a year ago, the detail resurfaced Tuesday via a New York Times story about financier Jho Low, who is entangled in a criminal investigation and originally gifted DiCaprio the Oscar. According to the Times, Low and others, like Malaysia’s ex-prime minister Najib Razak, allegedly used billions of dollars from an investment fund run by the Malaysian government.

DiCaprio and other celebrities like Miranda Kerr had to give up presents they received, like a grand piano, and a Pablo Picasso painting. The returned Oscar is now in a federal warehouse in Texas.

Leonardo DiCaprio with Jho Low
| Credit: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty

DiCaprio has been compliant with the ongoing investigation from the get go.

“Last July, upon hearing of the government’s civil action against certain parties involved in the making of The Wolf Of Wall Street, Mr. DiCaprio’s representatives — working under his instruction — initiated contact with the Department of Justice,” his representatives told PEOPLE in a statement in June 2017.

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“This effort was to determine if there were any gifts or charitable donations originating from the parties named in the civil complaint, and to offer the return of any such gifts or donations with the aid and instruction of the government,” the 2017 statement continued.

Credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty

“Prior to the government’s filing of the civil pleading today, Mr. DiCaprio initiated return of these items, which were received and accepted by him for the purpose of being included in an annual charity auction to benefit his eponymous foundation,” the 2017 statement said. “He has also returned an Oscar originally won by Marlon Brando, which was given to Mr. DiCaprio as a set gift by Red Granite to thank him for his work on The Wolf Of Wall Street.”

Leonardo DiCaprio and Marlon Brando
| Credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty; Herbert Dorfman/Corbis/Getty

In addition, Miranda Kerr is working with authorities to return the piano she received from Low.

Kerr’s lawyer Mark Fabiani said that the model is willing to return the piano, according to the Times. A return is reportedly complicated by the fact that the government would need to knock down part of Kerr’s house in order to move the piano.