Sean Penn's Cannes benefit for Haiti raises $2 million
Who says Sean Penn isn’t popular? Three separate bidders paid $128,000 each to spend three days with the actor-activist in Haiti. The bids came at a star-studded auction at the Cannes Film Festival that raised $2 million for the beleaguered island, the organizers announced on Sunday.
What else made money? One bidder paid $215,000 paid for Bono’s guitar. Another paid $115,000 to go to lunch with a Victoria’s Secret model.
The auction included a day with Tesla entrepreneur Elon Musk, but it wasn’t clear if it sold. None of the names of the bidders were revealed.
Sean Penn joined with two other celebrity activists, Petra Nemcova and Paul Haggis, along with the festival itself to draw attention to Haiti's plight and raise money at the Carnival in Cannes on Friday night.
Penn apparently made the offer on the spot to spend three days on the ground in Haiti with a high stakes bidder. Three people paid $128,000 each, the event organizers said.
An A-list crowd attended the event including Gerard Butler, Diane Kruger, Jessica Chastain, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Ewan McGregor, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tom Hardy, Robert De Niro, Sean Combs, Joshua Jackson, Michelle Rodriguez and Harvey Weinstein.
Event Chairs included Giorgio Armani, Roberta Armani, CAA’s Bryan Lourd, MPAA Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd and the Festival’s own Thierry Frémaux were also in attendance. Singer/songwriter Lyle Lovett performed three songs for the intimate gathering. President of Haiti Michel Martelly gave a taped video speech in appreciation of the work of the three organizations led by Penn, Haggis and Nemcova.
At a news conference ahead of the event, Penn made waves by accusing the world of having abandoned Haiti. The activist-actor, who spends much of his time in Haiti, said the country finally had a chance to reestablish itself after decades of turmoil. He said that because of the commitment among young people there, "You see the very tangible success story that Haiti can be."