Sunday, April 21, 2024

Sean Penn Celeb Dinner Raises $4 Mil for Haiti Relief


If something funny had happened in the ballroom of the Montage Hotel Saturday night there might not be a way to make big budget Hollywood movies anymore.

While parties raged around town all night for new stars or up and comers the A list gathered at the Montage to help Sean Penn raise a whopping four million dollars for J/P HRO Haitian Relief Organization. Giorgio Armani underwrote the evening called “Sean Penn and Friends: Help Haiti at Home.”

Both Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and Citizen Cope performed. Ben Stiller sent in a funny video. Former Senator Chris Dodd, Cong. Raul Ruiz, and former Haitian OM Jean Max Bellerive were honored.

And dining on small dinners but donating to Penn’s heartfelt cause: Richard Gere and wife Carey Lowell; Reese Witherspoon; Julia Roberts and Danny Moder; Julia’s long ago fiancee Kiefer Sutherland; Minne Driver, Kristen Davis, Jeremy Irons, Tim Robbins, Melanie Griffith, Leonardo Di Caprio, Eva Longoria, “Arbitrage” director Nick Jarecki, and, oddly, Mel Gibson. Harvey Weinstein arrived late from his studio’s cocktail party with Cablevision owner Jim Dolan, dressed nattily with a fedora. Si spotted Warner Bros. chief Jeff Robinov, producer Bill Pohlad, and restaurateur to the stars Michael Chow (much missed in NY).

Dodd, now the head of the MPAA, spoke passionately about Penn’s passionate interest in Haiti. Bryan Lourd, partner at CAA and leader in the Hollywood community, also reiterated Penn’s tireless efforts to rebuild the impoverished, earthquaked nation. “He practically lives there,” Lourd said.

Penn and his associates have become very clever, attaching their fundraising dinners for Haiti to awards show weekends and glitzy festivals. A portion of Saturday night’s proceeds also went to Hurricane Sandy relief on the East Coast.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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