Memorable benefit

Saks CEO Martin, Cole, Douglas, Zeta-Jones honored

Two stars with police histories got a standing ovation at Tuesday’s “An Unforgettable Evening” fund-raiser for Cedars-Sinai at the Regent BevWilshire.

Sting headlined the entertainment and during a smooth set of standards, the former Police frontman began talking about “being in some legal trouble last week and my lawyer got me out of it” and how his attorney wouldn’t charge him “if he could sit in tonight.”

Onstage came Robert Downey Jr., whose first words were, “As a lawyer, I would be my own best client” before the two launched into “Every Breath You Take.”

Though Downey probably shouldn’t quit his “Ally McBeal” day job, he brought a loose, charming vitality to the duet. By the time he reached the “How my poor heart aches/With every step you take” chorus, he was rolling. At this point the evening could have been renamed “Birth of a Diva.”

Their encore on “Penny Lane” topped the gala that raised $1.5 million. Honored at the evening, which Jay Leno emceed and Evan & Jaron performed, were Saks Fifth Avenue CEO Brad Martin (whose company underwrote the black-tie event), Natalie Cole, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Latter said, “This is the best way to use fame: It helps get the (cancer) issue out there.”

Among those on hand were the event’s founders plus 800 guests including Steven Spielberg, Howard Stringer, Mike Medavoy, Marvin and Barbara Davis, Lilly Tartikoff, Wendy Goldberg, Andy Spahn and Jennifer Perry, Joel and Karyn Silver, David Dinerstein, Trudie Styler and C-S’ Thomas Priselac, Dr. Lawrence Platt and Dr. Beth Karlan.

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