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Actress Sharon Stone has brought new meaning to “giving the clothes off your back” at a charity auction in Italy.

The 49 year old star of Basic Instinct hosted the auction in Rome on October 26, to raise money for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), a non-profit organization that supports AIDS research and prevention programs. During the evening, which was attended by guests such as model Eva Herzigova, film director Sophia Coppola, and actress Mira Sorvino, Stone responded to a request from the audience to auction the necklace she was wearing.

“I want you to know I love that necklace,” she said as she unhooked the clasp and put it up for sale. “I feel practically naked now.”

The necklace, crafted by British Crown jeweler Garrard, and featuring a wing-shaped pendant, sold for $50,000.

“$50,000 will fund an independent grant for a scientist working on a new AIDS initiative,” said Stone.

The night’s event, which raised a colossal $1.35 million for the charity, was a black tie and formal occasion, but this did not dampen Stone’s playful sense of humour.

“Romans, countrymen, lend me your wallets,” she said while greeting the guests. “Don’t flirt with me and not mean it.”

The Friday night auction also included a portrait of Italian actress Alida Valli by artist Francesco Vezzoli, which sold for $140,000, and a Fendi baguette purse signed by Stone that sold for $60,000.

Stone has been hosting AIDS fundraisers since 1995, and in October 2007 became the Global Fundraising Chairwoman for amfAR. The first charity auction held by the foundation in 1993 raised $200,000, but the auction held in Cannes in May 2007 raised $7 million. Stone joked that she never knows how successful the events will be.

“Every time I come here I think nobody will come and it will be a disaster and I will cry at the end,” said the Oscar nominee and mother of three. “But somewhere between $200,000 and $7 million will be a win.”

According to AmfAR, the organization has raised a total of $28 million from its charity auctions since 1993, and has invested more than $260 million to AIDS programs and research since its inception in 1985.

The next celebrity fundraising event for amfAR featuring Sharon Stone will be held in Dubai on December 10, and more information can be found at www.amfar.org.

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