Justin Bieber has donated $545,000 towards HIV research, matching another donor’s donation at the amfAR gala charity ball in Cannes on Thursday.
Organizers were floored by the offer and double-checked with Bieber to make sure he was serious about the donation, which he confirmed he was.
However Bieber couldn’t wait to take part in a lavish banquet that was part of the event and reportedly ordered a meal off the hotel’s kids menu before the banquet was served.
Bieber may be attempting to restore his public image after criminal charges were laid against him over illegal street racing and driving under the influence in January.
Billed as one of the most lavish events at the Cannes Film Festival, the amfAR Cinema Against AIDS Gala at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, raised $35 million towards research into the virus, with $15 million alone of that coming from the sale of a gilded mammoth skeleton in a steel display case by British artist Damian Hirst.
The sale of the Hirst work was the biggest amount raised to date so far in a single auction in the history of the event.
amfAR Fundraising Chairman Sharon Stone and long-time amfAR supporter Harvey Weinstein assisted in the night’s live auction with the evening’s official auctioneer, Simon de Pury.
Former First Lady of France, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, took the stage to introduce a Bulgari ‘Serpenti’ necklace made of white gold with aquamarine and diamonds as a tribute to the spirit of amfAR’s late co-founder Dame Elizabeth Taylor, which sold for $550,000.
A ‘Red Collection’ fashion show curated by long-time amfAR supporter Carine Roitfeld featured one-of-a-kind outfits in red from the world’s most celebrated fashion houses. After being auctioned off by Sharon Stone, the collection raised $5 million in total.
A trip into space with Leonardo DiCaprio on the Virgin Galactic spacecraft sold for $1 million.
The night also included live performances by Robin Thicke, Lana Del Rey, Aloe Blacc and Andrea Bocelli.
Other celebrities in attendance at the gala included Gael Garcia Bernal, Adrien Brody, Carole Bouquet, Jessica Chastain, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Marion Cotillard, HRH Princess of Venice Clotilde Courau, Willem Dafoe, Rosario Dawson, Catherine Deneuve, Luke Evans, Jane Fonda, Adrian Grenier, Lewis Hamilton, Eva Herzigova, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Karlie Kloss, Jon Kortajarena, Karolina Kurkova, Peter Lindbergh, Kellan Lutz, Thomas Mars, Kylie Minogue, Margherita Missoni, Bar Refaeli, Nick Rhodes, Michelle Rodriguez, Vito Schnabel, Lara Stone, Riccardo Tisci, Chris Tucker, Paz Vega and Dita Von Teese.