he stars step out for the Heart of Gold Ball to benefit Petra Nemcova’s Happy Hearts Fund. Every gal is wearing white-and-gold, and every man is wearing a tux for the tsunami-inspired charity gala.
Uma Thurman arrives with Arpad Busson as her arm candy. “Are you getting married?” a reporter shouts, riffing off a gossip item that they’re engaged. “Pfffh!” Arpad responds, making a face.
“Petra’s the real deal,” Wyclef Jean says. “I don’t even look at her like a celebrity doing a charity. Some people start something and then they stop it after two years. It’s a trend that goes away. I respect Petra because she walked the walk and talks the talk.” He’s excited Selena’s dad gave him permission to cover his music on his new album. “This is the first time that Selena’s father cleared a sample,” he adds. (Wyclef is part of the Valerie Gallery – see?)
Bruce Willis fixes a VH1 reporter’s makeup mid-interview. “You’ve got a smudge,” he says. What does he think of Rumer’s platinum ‘do? “I think it’s great,” the Armani-clad action hero says. He’s super-proud Petra’s saving the world. “Anytime you can help anyone or save someone’s life, it’s a good thing.”
Here comes Petra, who brings her sister as her date. What makes her happy? “Being with 700 of my closest friends in the room tonight. Many of them flew from different countries. From England, France, Canada, Japan, China…just for one night, to be here tonight. It’s really amazing and I’m very blessed that I have such wonderful friends.”
Dinnertime! We enjoy an appetizer of chilled duck salad and dinner of Chilean sea bass, sautéed snow peas and oriental rice, and then … ta-dah! … the dessert of homemade mango, coconut and raspberry sorbets in a chocolate shell with fresh berries. One big ticket item up for auction is a roundtrip flight and tickets to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. It sells for $120,000 – twice! Children orphaned in the tsunami perform native songs, and other entertainment includes Wyclef Jean, Cirque Du Soleil performers, and an opera number.
Wow, Petra certainly has been remarkable in her ability to take a tragic situation such as losing her boyfriend and nearly losing her life in a devastating tsunami, and being able to give back in such a big way. She’s helping all these orphans, and they relate to her because she lost someone as well.