Having a blast-off at Cannes? Russian businessman pays £1m to fly into space with Leonardo DiCaprio
Friday 24 May 2013
A trip to space with Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio raised €1.2 million (£1.03 million) for charity at a glitzy fundraiser at the Cannes film festival last night.
At the 20th annual event organized by amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, DiCaprio emerged as the mystery guest to accompany the winner on a Virgin Galactic flight into space. DiCaprio stars in the film The Great Gatsby, which opened the 66th Cannes film festival.
Actress Sharon Stone said the winning bidder would spend three days in training with DiCaprio in New Mexico before blast-off.
"You don't get to go to outer space every day with a handsome movie star," said Stone, dressed in a tight-fitting white dress with a gold snake trim down the back.
The bidding started at €1 million.
The auction brochure for the star-studded gala held at the five-star Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, near Cannes, said DiCaprio and the winning bidder would be among the first 1,000 people to leave the planet.
The winner, Vasily Klyukin, 37, a Russian living in Monaco, said he had always wanted to go into space.
"I want to be a bit daring," Klyukin, who works in real estate, told press. "I will have to give up smoking now for sure!"
After the successful bid from Klyukin - who also bought a gold and diamond necklace for €400,000 euros - Stone announced two other tickets were available on the flight. They raised another €1.8 million.
The auction raised €25 million, more than double last year's sum of €11 million.
The amfAR gala is the biggest fundraising event at the world's largest film festival. The benefit was first hosted by Elizabeth Taylor.
The list of stars attending Thursday's event included DiCaprio, Cannes jury members Nicole Kidman and Christopher Waltz, singers Kylie Minogue and Janet Jackson, and actors Adrien Brody, Jessica Chastain and Goldie Hawn.
The evening featured performances by gold-clad Shirley Bassey singing "Goldfinger" and British pop band Duran Duran.
Introducing the event, supermodel Heidi Klum said it raised more than €10 million a year for Aids research.
Other auction items included tickets to Hollywood events, a Damien Hirst painting, an Annie Leibovitz family portrait, the chance to star in four movies and a private performance from Simon Le Bon and John Taylor of Duran Duran.
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
- 5 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Fifty Shades of Grey movie: New picture of Anastasia Steele unveiled
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
Cilla, ITV, review: Sheridan Smith embodies the young singer perfectly
Doctor Who, Listen, review: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode
Tyler, The Creator says having new U2 album automatically downloaded on his iPhone was 'like waking up with herpes'
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke