Sharon Stone cold soberly brought the audience up to a dramatic silence. She had just rocked the SRO Beverly Wilshire ballroom lunch bunch Thursday noon with jokes about their “vampire”-like antics. The 650 ladies (plus a very few of us men, there with our wives) had been scavenging over 400 celeb-donated purses in the silent auction benefiting the Lupus Research Institute. The event was the fourth “Hollywood Bag Ladies.”
Sharon was about to start her role as glamour auctioneer — “It’s my 16th or 18th time,” she noted, having done ditto duties funding-raising for AIDS, Cancer etc. She cut the comedy and, after catching her breath (and a tear?) revealed that her sister, Kelly has Lupus. She returned to the business at hand — auctioneering. Dressed in a form-hugging black-sleeved dress with wide-buckled belt, she sashayed back and forth across the stage asking bidders, “Do I hear — more –” as she raised the take on each item.
Nicky Hilton joined in the spirit of the event, removed her own necklace and handed it to Stone who added two more thousands to the take. The SRO event honored the well-loved Carrie Brillstein for her tireless efforts over the years for Lupus research. Husband Bernie Brillstein made the presentation to her following a touching video-bio screening. The event rose over $400,000.
Among the celebrities who contributed their bags (purses) which overflowed in the hotel ballroom’s reception area for the silent auction: Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Julianna Margulies, Laura Linney, Tina Fey, Elizabeth Taylor and Sharon herself who donated 70 of her own prized purses.
Stone described the frantic pawing for purses as “like Saturday night as the bar is closing.” She thought the event was “for old bags — and I’m not even in menopause yet! Although I sleep in flannel pajamas because I’m single.”
Steve Edwards was the generous m.c./host.