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WAINSCOTT, N.Y. — There is nothing quite like a movie star in the middle of the year’s biggest tabloid story to help sell tickets to a Hamptons benefit for Haitian relief.

“This is Wyclef’s event,” said Angelina Jolie, luminous in a white top and skirt from Ralph Lauren. “I’m just part of the background.”

Well, you can’t blame a girl for being modest — but who was she kidding?

Certainly not fellow host Meryl Streep, who took to the stage and said: “I worried so much about what I wore tonight, and of course it didn’t matter at all.” Yes, this event may have been organized and hosted by Wyclef Jean to benefit his foundation, Yele Haiti, but there was no denying it was Jolie’s name on the invitation that got guests to plunk down $1,000 a head for dinner, dancing and a late night concert featuring Jean and Norah Jones.

In fact, the whole thing was sort of like follow the leader — where Jolie went, people followed. When she stopped, everyone froze in their tracks. Not even a burly bald security clocking in at least 6 feet 2 inches could keep people from approaching her. Even fellow celebrities professed to being starstruck: Lindsay Lohan put off her VMA plans just to come out to the Hamptons and meet Jolie at the event.

“I think she’s one of those rare people who gives back as much as she does not because of the press or because of any kind of attention she gets, but because it makes her feel better,” Lohan said, sitting on a banquette near the stage in a Christian Dior white summer dress and Manolo Blahnik pumps. “And she’s sexy as hell.”

Designer Nicole Miller was personally aware of Jolie’s draw: “She wore this scarf dress of mine and we got about 1,000 calls for it in the next week.” Miller promptly popped up and made a beeline for Jolie.

“She’s the perfect icon for our time,” said 7th on Sixth’s Fern Mallis. “She takes no prisoners, she does whatever she damn well pleases and she looks fabulous doing it. She’s the only woman I know of who men and women both want to sleep with. Even gay men!”

This story first appeared in the August 30, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Others who showed up to the home of film producer Cary Woods included Pepe Fanjul (another co-host); Sophie Dahl and her boyfriend, Dan Baker Jr; John Sykes; Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, and the concert promoter Ron Delsener.

He walked up to his friend Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and offered to introduce him to Jon Bon Jovi, but Waters was uninterested in meeting him. “I don’t like his music,” he said. Ouch.

Wyclef took to the stage and rapped to the crowd, telling President Bush to “bring the troops home.”

There was much applause at that, but what did first niece Lauren Bush — who was dancing in the back with beau David Lauren and is interning at the U.N. this summer — think?

“I have no opinion,” she said. “Iraq is a political matter. The work I do at the U.N. is humanitarian.”

Well, some might argue that the problem with the Bushes is that they see the war in Iraq as a political matter and not a “humanitarian” effort, but who’s really paying attention? The more important question is … “How are Maddox and Zahara getting along?”

“Great,” said a beaming Jolie. “He loves her and he’s really protective of her and he wants to pick her up and carry her around all the time, so we sort of have to stop him sometimes because he’s not quite big enough.”

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