Stars encourage guests to open their wallets at the amfAR gala
(CBS/AP) At Thursday night's amfAR Gala in the French Riveria, celebrities were desperate to sell hugs, kisses, a massage and a vampire bite to the highest bidder. An empty wallet, they made clear, was the evening's best accessory.
In an attempt to raise money at the Cinema Against AIDS auction, celebrity presenters threw in bribes to persuade the audience to bid so they could reach their target of $10 million dollars.
Held at the exclusive Hotel Du Cap, overlooking the sea, the black-tie event drew guests like Janet Jackson, Alec Baldwin, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kylie Minogue,Gerard Butler and Kim Kardashian.
Heidi Klum offered a massage; Diane Kruger donated the services of her boyfriend, Joshua Jackson; "Vampire Diaries" starlet Nina Dobrev said she'd willingly bite a bidder; and Chris Tucker did a mini Michael Jackson dance routine - all to win people over and get them to open their wallets.
Many references were made to the troubled European financial climate - appropriately, Aloe Blacc took to the stage to sing "I Need a Dollar," while Jessie J performed "Price Tag."
Diners watching the auction take place on stage under a large marquee were offered an Andy Warhol/Marilyn Monroe print, the chance to star in a short film by Karl Lagerfeld, a private tennis match with Novak Djokovic; and a holiday on Lake Como.
For the first time at the French amfAR auction, there was also a fashion show.
Models strutted on a catwalk between dining tables to show off 24 outfits, selected by former Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld to create the "Perfect Black Wardrobe."
The show contained designs by Chanel, Dior, Armani, Kenneth Cole, Lanvin, Valentino, Tom Ford and Louis Vuitton. The winning bidder paid 320,000 Euros ($469,000) to have them made in a size of her choosing.
The final total for the items under the hammer is still being calculated - although it seems likely that these celebrity salespeople will easily reach their $10 million total.
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