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Fashion and fundraising for Hollywood's finest at annual AMFAR gala

22 MAY 2009

Hollywood heavyweights in Cannes for the film festival donned their finest on Thursday to attend the festival's charitable highlight - the Amfar gala.

Leggy lovelies Elizabeth Hurley and Dior-clad host Sharon Stone showed off their assets in split skirt gowns, while British model Lily Cole was right on trend in vibrant blue strapless Pucci at the high profile event which attracts a who's who of celebs every year.

<i>Basic Instinct</i> actress Sharon, who traditionally hosts the evening, oversaw proceedings with her usual exuberance, encouraging guests to open their cheque books for the benefit auction.

Lots up for grabs this year included a saxophone owned and autographed by guest of honour Bill Clinton, which raised £83,000 for charity. And Twilight actor and British man of the moment Robert Pattinson joined Sharon on stage to whip up interest in a photo of Madonna in her recent Louis Vuitton fashion campaign. The hammer came down on the shot at  £19,100.

Not one to miss a trick - and clearly recognising the celebrity value of the 23-year-old hunk - Sharon then put a kiss from Robert up for grabs, prompting two guests to pay £12,800 each to secure a smacker from the vampire romance star for their daughters.
The evening, which was also supported by Claudia Schiffer, Dita Von Teese, Diane Kruger, Paris Hilton, Peaches Geldof and Hayden Panettiere, also paid tribute to Liam Neeson's late wife Natasha Richardson. The actress was hailed by a tearful Sharon as "a passionate supporter and fund raiser" for the AIDS cause.

Liam sent a moving message to Cannes speaking of his wife, whose father director Tony Richardson passed away from the disease, as a "genuine" supporter of the cause. His tribute was followed by a performance by Scottish singer Annie Lennox, who dedicated a song to the mum-of-two.

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