Madonna auctions "private concert"
By Mike Collett-White
MOUGINS, France (Reuters) - Madonna auctioned a "private concert" late on Thursday at a star-studded dinner, raising 350,000 euros ($560,000) for AIDS charity amfAR.
The biggest lot on a night of conspicuous spending was a restored 1976 Porsche 911, which went for 500,000 euros after rap mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs stopped bidding at 450,000 euros.
A diamond-encrusted Christian Dior mobile phone also fetched 120,000 euros.
The annual Cinema Against AIDS gala, hosted by Sharon Stone, 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.
The rich and famous lined a packed red carpet on Thursday, including Madonna, Combs and Stone, actor Dennis Hopper, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and actress Natalie Portman.
"I hope we all leave a little poorer," said amfAR chairman Kenneth Cole in his opening speech.
He need not have worried, with the cheapest seats going for around $4,000 each, rising to $15,000 for seats nearer the stage. The overall tally for the night was over $10 million.
Stone, who having just turned 50 called it her "birthday amfAR," showed clips of her travels around the world raising funds for the charity, while Madonna, 49, was in Cannes to promote her documentary about Malawi children orphaned by AIDS. Continued...