Model Miranda Kerr hands over $11m worth of jewellery linked to 1MDB probe

Ms Miranda Kerr's spokesman said the model cooperated fully, and "will continue to assist with the inquiry in any way she can".
Ms Miranda Kerr's spokesman said the model cooperated fully, and "will continue to assist with the inquiry in any way she can".PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • Australian model Miranda Kerr has handed over US$8.1 million (S$11.2 million) worth of jewellery to the US Justice Department (DOJ) a week after lawsuits said it was purchased for her with funds allegedly misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the country's sovereign wealth fund.

Ms Kerr, who is not a defendant in the lawsuits, transferred the gifts last Friday to government agents from her safe-deposit box in Los Angeles, her spokesman said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"From the start... Miranda Kerr cooperated fully and pledged to turn over the gifts of jewellery to the government," he said.

"Ms Kerr will continue to assist with the inquiry in any way she can." he added.

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The DOJ, which has declined to comment, filed civil-forfeiture lawsuits this year and last year, seeking assets that it alleges were bought with money misappropriated from 1MDB.

The jewellery is among more than US$1.7 billion worth of assets - including a US$250 million yacht, stakes in companies as well as luxury properties in London, New York and Los Angeles - alleged to be misappropriated .

It was given to Ms Kerr by Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, whom she dated for about a year in 2014, the Journal said, citing a source.

1MDB has denied any wrongdoing and said it has found no evidence any of its money was misappropriated.

Mr Low, who has not been accused of a crime, has pledged to fight the lawsuits.

Earlier this month, a spokesman for actor Leonardo DiCaprio said he had turned over artworks gifted to him by Mr Low.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2017, with the headline 'Model Miranda Kerr hands over $11m worth of jewellery linked to 1MDB probe'. Print Edition | Subscribe