By Tim Saunders on
Hosted by Sharon Stone, the Gala is one of the hottest tickets at the Cannes film festival each year, with hundreds of guests traveling to nearby Mougins for an auction dinner held in a giant marquee. This year’s event attracted a plethora of celebrity guests intent on raising money for the cause, including P. Diddy, Natalie Portman, Dennis Hopper, and Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein, all of whom were keen to get their hands on some of the items up for auction on the night.
“I hope we all leave a little poorer,” said amfAR chairman Kenneth Cole prior to the festivities, although he needn’t have worried – a total of $10 million was raised for the American Foundation for AIDS Research on the night.
As well as Madonna’s private concert – which sold for $560,000 – other popular items up for grabs included a restored 1976 Porsche 911, which went for $790,000 after rap mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs stopped bidding at $710,000. A diamond-encrusted Christian Dior mobile phone also fetched $189,000. Tickets for the event started at $4,000 and rose to $15,000 nearer the stage.
Combs auctioned 24 hours in his company, promising: “I will fulfill your wildest dreams for amfAR and the children,” and “I will wake up with you.” The winning bid was $315,000.
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