All-star celebrity bash near Cannes raises $30m for AIDS fight



Cannes, France (AFP) –  A soiree with some of Hollywood’s biggest names held late Thursday near Cannes during the film festival raised $30 million (27 million euros) for the fight against AIDS.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Antonio Banderas, Michael Fassbender, F1 driver Lewis Hamilton, designer-turned-director Tom Ford, models Eva Herzigova, Adriana Lima and Kendall Jenner, singer Robin Thicke and movie producer Harvey Weinstein were among the 900 invitees who attended the annual amfAR charity bash on the French Riviera, held at a luxurious hotel in Cap d’Antibes.

The night was an ultra-exclusive fundraising event, with tables costing $100,000 each.

Weinstein paid homage to France and to the attack it suffered on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January by extremist gunmen. “Je suis Charlie. Vive la France,” he said in French.

The millions raised came from an unusual auction of items and experiences, including:

– a tall Jeff Koons sculpture that went for $13 million;

– a work by Colombian artist Fernando Botero that sold for $2.2 million;

– a 33-carat Harry Winston necklace of 191 diamonds auctioned off for $500,000;

– a work by mysterious street artist Banksy, donated by DiCaprio, that went for more than $1 million;

– DiCaprio also sold off a private dinner with him, and a seat at a Saint Tropez charity gala he will attend soon, for $280,000;

– Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli put up two dinners for 12 with him at either his Miami or Tuscany residence. Each went for more than $1 million;

– a collection of designer clothes from 50 of the world’s top fashion houses that one bidder bought for more than $1 million;

a Picasso drawing that went for $800,000;

– an Andy Warhol portrait of Elizabeth Taylor that Eva Longoria bought for $600,000.

The amfAR event has been a regular fixture on the Cannes Film Festival calendar since 1993, and has so far raised more than $170 million for AIDS research.

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