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Realizing that first impressions mean a lot in Hollywood, Bulgari pulled out all the stops Thursday night for its first pre-Golden Globes event, a $1000-a-seat benefit for Save the Children and Artists for Peace and Justice.
About 200 guests, ranging from Mark Shriver to Kirsten Dunst, filed into the foyer and atrium of Green Acres, the historic estate now owned by Yucaipa Companies chairman/business magnate Ron Burkle, for champagne and caviar-laced nibbles.
After a protracted cocktail “hour” (more like two, since actors such as Olivia Wilde and Jared Leto arrived late), guests were ushered into an adjoining tent painted to look like the inside of a library and filled with tables stacked with books. There, the evening got serious, as producer Simon Fuller and director Paul Haggis were honored for their philanthropic efforts to help children in the U.S. and Haiti.
“In this town it’s hard to get an actor to pay for lunch, so I’m grateful to those of you who donate time and money,” Haggis told a crowd that included Maria Bello, Milla Jovovich and Josh Brolin. Shriver kept the room laughing when he threatened to go against his “guilty Catholic” nature and drop the f-bomb on stage. He eventually did, but only after a bidder in the live auction promised to ante up $15,000 for one item.
With the crowd back in high spirits, Ricky Martin took the stage for some hip-shaking “La Vida Loca” that had Jovovich twirling with studio head Ryan Kavanaugh and Sharon Osbourne partnering with Martin himself.