Fundraiser held for UCLA's Rape Treatment Center

The heat wave returned Sunday for the fundraiser held on Ron Burkle’s back lawn in Beverly Hills. Jackets were doffed and everyone looked for a shady spot to drink their lemonade and iced tea. Under the white tent that was big enough to hold a few hundred guests, as well as a couple of good sized trees, the temperature rose considerably when guest Viola Davis took the stage to help raise coin for the Rape Treatment Center at the UCLA Medical Center. The actress told a harrowing story of her sister, at age eight, being sexually assaulted and her life “spiralling out of control.”

Davis continued, “I wish my sister had someone sitting across from her telling her that she isn’t dirty, that at eight years old and 35 years old she did nothing wrong, and had someone to encourage her not to be silent.”

“I wouldn’t give this spot to a leopard,” honoree Norman Lear said of having to follow Davis’ powerful speech. Lear did, however, plead for “eternal vigilance. In 2012, it’s incomprehensible that we have elected officials who make the distinction between legitimate and illegimate rape.”

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