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Demi Moore, Cher and more stars raise money for AIDS research at amfAR gala near Cannes

By The Associated Press - | May 25, 2024

Demi Moore poses for photographers upon arrival at the amfAR Cinema Against AIDS benefit at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, during the 77th Cannes international film festival, Cap d'Antibes, southern France, Thursday, May 23, 2024. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

ANTIBES, France (AP) — Some of the biggest stars in the French Rivera for the Cannes Film Festival made appearances at the 30th annual amfAR gala to raise money for AIDS research.

Demi Moore, whose film “The Substance” caused a stir at Cannes, hosted this year’s gala, a role launched by Elizabeth Taylor in 1993.

The red carpet at the exclusive Hôtel du Cap, Eden Roc, was awash with models, actors, singers and fashion designers as well as plenty of festival movers and shakers, who paid thousands of euros for a table at the hottest event in town.

Michelle Yeoh, Heidi Klum, Kelly Rowland, Andie MacDowell, Diane Kruger, Colman Domingo, Michelle Rodriguez, Winnie Harlow, Robin Thicke, Diplo, Paris Jackson, Petra Nemcova, Karolina Kurkova, Natasha Poly and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, all attended the fundraiser.

Rowland addressed her Cannes controversy from earlier in the week where she appeared to have an altercation with security on the red carpet.

“The woman knows what happened. I know what happened. And, I have a boundary, and I stand by those boundaries, and that is it. And there were other women that attended that carpet who did not quite look like me, and they didn’t get scolded, or pushed off or told to get off,” Rowland told The Associated Press. “And, I stood my ground and she felt like she had to stand hers but I stood my ground and that was it.”

As always the night began with champagne and cocktails under the stars. The sweeping hotel walkway was transformed into a carpet of red glitter down to the ocean, although this year the flashy super yachts were not blocking the horizon.

Guests drank champagne, margaritas, palomas and vodka martinis and posed for multiple selfies and photos at the black tie charity event.

Many of the works of art and sculptures from the auction were on display around the grounds including an iconic hand signed Andy Warhol lithograph of Taylor, which later raised 350,000 euros ($378,289).

A specially commissioned hand drawn picture of the Queen with Swarovski crystals on an aluminum frame, from royal artist Chris Levine, reached 475,000 euros ($513,392) for the charity. Sarah Ferguson took to the podium to help auction this lot with a plea of “this was my mother-in-law” and “stop being so bored, Stop looking at your phone” to the diners.

Guests were served a starter of truffled zucchini flower with cream of mushroom to the live soundtrack of Jess Glynne’s opening performance, followed by beef brulee with a potato emulsion and a strawberry and elderflower profiterole dessert while auctioneers called for bids.

Part way through the dinner guests paused and took to their feet to line the temporary catwalk through the tables for the fashion runway show curated annually by Carine Roitfeld and auctioned off to the highest bidder. This year’s collection, entitled “Fairy Tales” included 26 looks from Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Vivienne Westwood and Prada to name a few. After the models gathered on stage to help the auctioneer up the bids, the collection finally went for 500,000 euros ($540,412).

As part of the experiences on offer, a walk on part in “Emily in Paris” series 5, plus an invite to the season 4 LA premiere went for 250,000 euros ($270,262).

Nick Jonas brought brother Joe on stage for a medley that got the room dancing and then Cher closed the show with a tribute to Taylor and a high-octane performance of “Believe” complete with gyrating dancers. The afterparty carried on by the hotel’s swimming pool with Diplo on the decks and more drinks as guests danced outdoors until the early hours.

AmfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research is dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education and advocacy, raising nearly $900 million in support of it’s programs since 1985.


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