Fact Check: Leonardo DiCaprio Did NOT Donate $10 Million To Ukraine Armed Forces

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Leonardo DiCaprio Did NOT Donate $10 Million To Ukraine Armed Forces Did Not Happen

Did Leonardo DiCaprio donate $10 million to the Ukraine armed forces? No, that's not true: The Hollywood actor has donated to several charities to support humanitarian efforts for Ukrainians displaced by the war, but he has not made a $10 million donation to the Ukrainian army.

The claim appeared in an article published by Thirsty For News on March 7, 2022, titled "Leonardo DiCaprio Donates $10 Million To Ukraine Armed Forces" (archived here). It opened:

Leonardo DiCaprio, Mila Kunis, and Ashton Kutcher are among the Hollywood celebrities who have donated substantial sums to Ukraine.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Leonardo DiCaprio Donates $10 Million To Ukraine Armed Forces

Leonardo DiCaprio, Mila Kunis, and Ashton Kutcher are among the Hollywood celebrities who have donated substantial sums to Ukraine.

The article claimed:

According to GSA News, the iconic Oscar-winning actor, gave $ 10 million to the Ukrainian army's needs. The actor has said several times that he is of Ukrainian descent. Elena Smirnova (1915-2008), his grandmother, used to live in Odessa.

The word GSA linked to a Guyana South America News article that made the claim about DiCaprio on March 5, 2022. GSA issued a retraction on March 9, 2022, about their false story:

In conclusion, GSA News would like to retract our story because it could not be verified. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused.

GSA cited CNN's Daniel Dale as reporting that DiCaprio did not make the donation to the Ukrainian military.

DiCaprio did make several donations in support of humanitarian efforts for Ukrainians amid the Russian invasions, according to Vanity Fair:

A source close to DiCaprio confirmed that he made donations to four organizations amid the war in Ukraine - CARE, International Rescue Committee, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, and Save the Children.

The source told the magazine he had no family ties to the country but was supportive of Ukraine:

"He has been watching things unfold and wanted to support Ukraine best he could," the source said. "He will continue to support the humanitarian groups on the ground helping the people of Ukraine."

Lead Stories has reached out to DiCaprio and his representatives for comment and will update the story when a response is received.

Other Lead Stories fact checks related to the 2022 Russia-Ukraine conflict can be found here.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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