AceShowbiz - Leonardo DiCaprio has hit back after Brazilian President Jair Boldonaro slammed him for donating to officials at non-profit organisations accused of igniting the Amazon rainforest fires.
Local police recently raided the headquarters of two charities in the state of Para, where a number of volunteer firefighters were briefly taken into custody as part of an investigation into the origins of the ongoing blazes, which have raged since the summer.
While the firefighters denied allegations suggesting they purposefully set the fires as part of a scheme to boost funding, the controversial leader insisted celebrity conservationist DiCaprio, who pledged $5 million through his Earth Alliance foundation to help fight the wildfires, is partly responsible for the environmental disaster.
"DiCaprio is a cool guy, isn't he? Giving money to set the Amazon on fire," he reportedly told supporters on Friday, November 29.
He also claimed officials at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) paid for images taken by volunteer firefighters to solicit donations.
Firing back at the accusations in a lengthy post on Instagram, the "Titanic" actor pledged his support to the people of Brazil, and insisted he had no affiliations with the organisations in question.
"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," he wrote.
"The future of these irreplaceable ecosystems is at stake and I am proud to stand with the groups protecting them."
He added, "While worthy of support, we did not fund the organisations 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."
Meanwhile, the WWF released a statement denying receiving a donation from DiCaprio and obtaining photographs from the firefighters.