Glitzy amfAR raises $25 million, goes to space
Paris Hilton and River Viiperi arrive at amfAR Cinema Against AIDS benefit at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, during the 66th international film festival, in Cap d'Antibes, southern France, Thursday, May 23, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
CAP D'ANTIBES, France (AP) — With an apt rendition of "Gold-finger," singing legend Shirley Bassey roused celebrity-revelers to dig deep into their pockets at the 20th amfAR gala in the Cap D'Antibes Thursday, helping to raise an estimated $25 million for AIDS research.
The British-born singer was one of several performers including Duran Duran who sang at the gold-themed auction event nearby the Cannes Film Festival, hosted by actress Sharon Stone, and held at the French Riviera's exclusive Hotel Du Cap over-looking the sea. The annual amfAR gala has for two decades attracted the film and fashion industries' rich and powerful — and this year was no exception, with movie mogul Harvey Weinstein — perhaps the Hollywood equivalent of the Midas touch — Leonardo DiCaprio, Jessica Chastain, Janet Jackson, Milla Jovovich and Goldie Hawn sitting side by side. Stone, a pushy but charismatic host, is started to earn herself a legendary status presiding over the amfAR event, since the passing of its founder Elizabeth Taylor in 2011.
Actress Zhang Ziyi arrives at amfAR Cinema Against AIDS benefit at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, during the 66th international film festival, in Cap d'Antibes, southern France, Thursday, May 23, 2013. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP)
"I heard that somebody might go into outer space tonight. Maybe a rumor, maybe not," said Weinstein before the auction.
He was not wrong. Items sold under the hammer did indeed include a trip to space, but also more terrestrial items such as an Andy Warhol lithograph of Taylor, a chance to have a family portrait taken by iconic photographer Annie Leibovitz, a week in fashion designer's Donna Karan's Caribbean hide-away and a shimmering 53-carat diamond necklace.