Scorsese made the comments about Trump during an interview at the London Film Festival. The Oscar winner was at the festival for a screening of his new film, Killers of the Flower Moon, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brendan Fraser.
The panel’s moderator, director Edgar Wright played a clip from Scorsese’s Oscar-nominated film about Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street, based on the disgraced stockbroker’s book of the same name.
“Some of your films, people are punished for their sins. In Wolf of Wall Street they’re celebrated,” Wright said to Scorsese, who likened Belfort to Trump in his reply.
“Politically, the country, they elected [Trump]. It’s about ‘kill, go get the money, do anything you want, you can’t do anything to me.’ When he’s saying ‘I don’t have to pay taxes to a certain extent because I have smart lawyers,’ he’s right, it’s true—it’s legal. Doesn’t mean it’s right, but it’s legal,” Scorsese said of the former president’s multiple indictments.
Trump faced court in New York City last week in a civil fraud trial. New York Attorney General Letitia James’ filed a $250 million lawsuit against Trump, his adult sons, and the Trump Organization last year, accusing them of illegally misrepresenting business assets for financial benefit. Trump has denied all wrongdoing.
The Wolf of Wall Street was released to critical acclaim in 2013 and made $402 million at the global box office. It was based on Belfort’s book of the same name, which documented his tumultuous career as a stockbroker.
The film starred long-time Scorsese collaborator DiCaprio as Belfort and detailed Belfort’s rise to the top of the financial world and subsequent fall, as well as his battle with drugs and his marriages.
Belfort pleaded guilty to fraud after being charged with numerous crimes related to stock market manipulation and running a long-term scam involving penny stocks in 1999. He was sentenced to four years in prison in 2003 and served 22 months before his release.
Scorsese’s comments come after The Wolf of Wall Street star Cristin Milioti, who played Belfort’s first wife, revealed that Trump crashed the set of the movie while they were filming a pivotal scene outside the Trump Tower in New York City.
“That was a wild night,” Milioti told The Independent. of the scene in which she confronts Belfort about cheating on her and hits him repeatedly. “We shot from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., and we did that scene over and over and over.
As for the former president, Milioti said: “He crashed the set, and he was a complete and utter buffoon, as we all know.”