What is needed for AIDS research? Sharon Stone to play auctioneer, Kylie Minogue and Julian Lennon to sing and burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese to do a saucy strip routine.
An annual benefit soiree on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival raised US$7 million (EUR5.2 million) for the American Foundation for AIDS Research, or amfAR.
Stone, wearing a clingy silver dress, played hostess and fast-talking auctioneer throughout the night. When George Clooney and other cast members from "Ocean's Thirteen" came onstage to auction off a yacht vacation, Stone promised a bidder: "If you put up $350,000, George will kiss you."
Clooney went through with it, and he and Stone managed to sell two yacht vacations instead of one for a total of $700,000 (EUR520,000).
Ivana Trump bid for and won a Francesco Vezzoli portrait of a teary-eyed Bette Davis for $200,000 (EUR149,000). Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell joined Stone on stage to auction off a package of fashion show tickets, for $175,000 (Ђ130,000).
Painter-film director Julian Schnabel donated a portrait bought by designer Roberto Cavalli for $300,000 (EUR223,000).
Harvey Weinstein of The Weinstein Co. spotted Australian singer Minogue at dinner and pulled her onstage to sing "The Loco-Motion" and "Can't Get You Out of My Head," which raised another $300,000 (EUR223,000).
Von Teese came onstage in cowgirl suit, complete with pink glittering hat, and stripped down to underwear, pink cowboy boots and strategically placed tassels. Instead of a bucking bronco, she rode atop a giant spinning lipstick. The MAC Aids Fund was a sponsor, as was The Weinstein Co. and Bold Films.
Lennon closed the party with "Stand By Me."
Other actors at the dinner included Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Diego Luna, Michelle Yeoh, Mischa Barton, Asia Argento, Don Cheadle, Maggie Cheung, Toni Collette, Rosario Dawson, Catherine Deneuve, Eva Mendes and Kerry Washington. Designers John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier and Nicolas Ghesquiere also attended.
The previous evening, a Cannes benefit dinner hosted by the "Ocean's Thirteen" cast raised US$9.2 million (EUR6.82 million) to help refugees from the Sudanese province of Darfur.