Madonna, was a guest at the annual Cinema Against AIDS AmFar dinner in Cannes Thursday night. It was a rare appearance tied to her trying to sell her Africa documentary. She’s never been to the dinner before, so it was also a novelty. Sharon Stone, who is the face of AmFar, was thrilled nonetheless. Thanks to Madonna’s just showing up, and Stone’s persistence in selling her at auction, AmFar raised a staggering $10 million Thursday night. That’s up nearly $3 million from last year. So say what you will, Madonna’s presence was her donation to the cause.
She also let Stone put up for auction, under the glittering tent at Moulin des Mougins, Madonna’s diamond encrusted Karl Lagerfeld custom-designed handbag (including her lip gloss, lip balm, magnifying mirror, hair clips and lozenges), one of her guitars and the promise to sing two songs privately for a bidder before a concert this fall somewhere on her tour. To make the Lagerfeld bag even more attractive, Madonna threw in her blotting paper for her face. She blotted her face on stage, handed the paper to Stone, who did the same and quipped, “There’s a lot of DNA there now. In case there’s a murder you’ll have the evidence.”
Madonna said, “I’m rubbing it against my body." Those items altogether brought in just under $1 million euros, or $1.5 million, maybe, when all the calculations are done. You’d have thought those things would have reaped higher numbers. Madonna certainly did. When the bag wasn’t selling so fast or for that much, Madonna beseeched the crowd, “It’s not the bag, baby, it’s the thought.” She added of the blotting paper, “I’m wearing, I’m rubbing it against my body. Don’t insult me.”
The idea for the two songs in a private concert came from Harvey Weinstein, the motivating force behind the Amfar dinner for 14 years. “Madonna will sing for you,” Harvey told the crowd. Madonna interjected, “Not tonight — I’m not ready for that!” The original bid went out at 250,000 euros, which prompted Madonna to joke: “I’m worth more than that! People have asked me to play at their bar mitzvahs!” When the two songs only fetched a total of 350,000 euros — or about $600,000 — the Material Girl, who was on stage with Stone, leaned into the mike and advised the audience, “Don’t humiliate me.”
With that, she and her posse — manager Guy Oseary, pal Donatella Versace, hubby Guy Ritchie and publicist Liz Rosenberg — upped and left. Stone must have known this was going to happen, because she told the audience before the songs were auctioned: “Madonna’s got to leave.” There was still about an hour left of the event, but Stone didn’t mind: Madonna had done what she came for, and what she was asked to do.
“She gave us a lot of her time,” Stone told me. “She did a great job.” Stone, however, did the best job. She started the evening by raising $2.1 million (dollars, not euros) for her new Sharon Stone Pediatric AIDS fund within AmFar. She immediately got 21 people in the audience to contribute $100,000 each, including Diane von Furstenberg, Roberto Cavalli, Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel clothing, Chopard, Valentino, Dior, producer Ryan Kavanagh, Michel Litvak and Vin Roberti. Source