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Outer-space flight with Leonardo DiCaprio raises $1.5million for AIDS research

Outer-space flight with Leonardo DiCaprio raises $1.5million for AIDS research

A Russian man living in Monaco bid $1.5million (€1.2million) to jet into outer space alongside American actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

The ticket was one of many offers on auction at the 20th annual Cinema Against AIDS gala to raise money for the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). The event is considered one of the most high profile galas held at the celebrity-studded Cannes Film Festival in France.

The winner of the space flight, a 37-year-old Russian living in Monaco named Vasily Klyukin, told Reuters: ‘I want to be a bit daring.’

‘I will have to give up smoking now for sure.’

The auction prize gave the winner a chance to accompany a movie star into outer space on a future Virgin Galactic flight.

Actress Sharon Stone announced the Leonardo DiCaprio as the mystery celebrity, saying the winner would spend three days in New Mexico training with DiCaprio for the outer space flight.

The ticket sold for $1.5million (€1.2million) was one of three Virgin Galactic space tickets that contributed to the total $32.3million (€25million) raised for amfAR.

The event also featured a fashion show with40 of the world’s top models showcasing exclusive ensembles made from gold-colored clothing and gold accessories.

The event to raise money for AIDS research was sponsored by luxury brands including Mercedes-Benz, Chopard and Moet Hennessy.

Actress Goldie Hawn said: ‘I don’t think it has anything to do with celebrity. It has to do with being human.’

The first amfAR event held 20 years ago was hosted by actress Elizabeth Taylor.

Di Caprio, an outspoken advocate of marriage equality, donated $61,000 (€47,250) to this year’s GLAAD Media Awards.