Miranda Kerr gives up $A11m in jewellery

The Australian
June 27, 2017

Miranda Kerr had been keeping the jewellery in a Los Angeles safe deposit box.

Australian model Miranda Kerr has handed over $US8.1 million ($A10.7m) worth of jewellery to the US Justice Department a week after lawsuits said it was purchased for her by Malaysian financier Jho Low with allegedly misappropriated funds, according to her spokesman.

Ms Kerr transferred the gifts on Friday to government agents from her safe-deposit box in Los Angeles, the spokesman said.

“From the start of the inquiry, Miranda Kerr co-operated 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.”

Ms Kerr isn’t a defendant in the lawsuits.

The Justice Department declined to comment.

The department filed civil-forfeiture lawsuits this year and last year seeking assets it alleges were bought with money misappropriated from a Malaysian sovereign-wealth fund called 1Malaysia Development Bhd, or 1MDB.

The jewellery is among more than $US1.7 billion worth of assets the Justice Department seeks; the assets also include a $US250 million yacht, stakes in companies and luxury real estate in London, New York and Los Angeles.

1MDB has denied any wrongdoing and said it has found no evidence any of its money was misappropriated. The fund has pledged to co-operate with any lawful investigation. Malaysia has closed all but one of its domestic investigations into 1MDB with no wrongdoing found.

Mr Low, who hasn’t been accused of a crime, said in a statement after the latest asset forfeiture cases were filed that the US government’s “latest move continues its inappropriate efforts to seize assets despite not having proven that any improprieties have occurred.” He has pledged to fight the lawsuits.

Ms Kerr dated Mr. Low for about a year in 2014, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Justice Department says that during that time he gave her four gifts of jewellery. Ms Kerr was married last month to Snap co-founder Evan Spiegel.

Mr Low bought one of the pieces, a 11.72 carat, heart-shaped diamond pendant, as a Valentine’s Day gift for Ms Kerr from the well-known jeweller Lorraine Schwartz, the civil forfeiture complaint says.

On January 29, 2014, he texted Ms Schwartz to ask about a heart-shaped necklace, adding that he had a budget of $US1 million to $US2 million and that “(s) ize matters,” the complaint says. The final cost was $US1.29 million ($A1.7m), it said.

He also gave her an 8.88-carat diamond pendant worth $US3.8 million ($A5m), the complaint says.

Earlier this month, a spokesman for actor Leonardo DiCaprio said Mr DiCaprio had turned over artwork gifted to him by Mr Low, alleged gifts described in one of the Justice Department lawsuits.

Dow Jones Newswires

  1. #1 by Godfather on Tuesday, 27 June 2017 - 12:13 pm

    Is the “wife of Malaysian Official 1” prepared to give up her pink diamond and other jewelry ? Or will the ministers now rush to her defence and claim that she is not the “wife of MO1” ?

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