Shocking no one, Amal and George Clooney are able to bring out the stars.
The couple’s A-list friends came out in droves Thursday evening to attend the inaugural Albie Awards, put on by the Clooney Foundation for Justice. Tourists hoping to photograph the famed lions outside the New York Public Library got a lot more than they bargained for as signs of an event started to pop up early in the evening, with an autumnally decorated step-and-repeat installed at the base of the library steps and a red carpet lined with tall glowing candles was laid out into the library entrance.
The Clooneys were seen roughly 20 minutes ahead of their scheduled 7 p.m. arrival time, stepping out of a black SUV on Fifth Avenue to the screams of the crowd that had assembled. Dressed to the nines (Amal in Versace, George in Armani) they would return to the carpet various times throughout the evening’s arrival period, with George at one point going out to the masses and shaking hands with the fans who’d been lined up for hours.
Clooney’s upcoming costar in “Ticket to Paradise,” Julia Roberts, made a rare New York City appearance for the cause, joining Meryl Streep, who attended with daughter Grace Gummer and son-in-law Mark Ronson; Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber; Dua Lipa; John Krasinski; Ethan Hawke; Oscar Isaac; Diane Sawyer; Tracee Ellis Ross; Julianna Margulies; Lori Harvey; Alfre Woodard; Zoey Deutch; Phoebe Dynevor; Gemma Chan and Dominic Cooper; Drew Barrymore; Jodie Turner-Smith; Simone Ashley; John Oliver; Camila Morrone; Gayle King; Donatella Versace; Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller; Phoebe Robinson; Charlotte Tilbury, and many more.
The Albie Awards were named for Justice Albie Sachs, who was awarded a lifetime achievement award for his work to ending apartheid in South Africa. Filipino journalist Maria Ressa was honored with the Justice for Journalists award; iAct, an organization that supports survivors of genocide in refugee camps, was given the Justice for Survivors award; Viasna, a Belarusian human rights group, was recognized with the Justice for Democracy Defenders award, and the Justice for Women award was given to Dr. Josephine Kulea for the Samburu Girls Foundation, a nonprofit that rescues at-risk girls in Kenya.
“For me, I was growing up my whole life and just felt like oftentimes, the government was failing us,” George Clooney told reporters on the red carpet outside the event of the reason for celebrating those who risk their lives for such work. “All of us need to fight for it, and that’s why we’re here tonight, because we have people who are risking their lives for it.”