Kim Kardashian, Kanye, Tom Hanks Among Celebs Raising Money for Hillary Clinton at Scooter Braun Event
Usher, Jessica Alba, Mary Steenburgen and Jeffrey Katzenberg were also at the star-studded event in the hills above Sunset Boulevard.
A glittery crowd of young Hollywood celebrities, including Kim Kardashian with husband Kanye West, were gathering Thursday evening at the home of talent manager Scooter Braun to raise money for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
The evening event in the hills above the Brentwood marked the third time Clinton has tapped Hollywood for funds since declaring her 2016 presidential candidacy.
Kardashian announced early in the evening to her Twitter followers that she was headed to the event. Later the selfie queen posted a picture with Clinton (and Kanye in the background) on Twitter and Instagram, where it received nearly 370,000 likes in an hour.
With Braun representing a large roster of famous young performers — including Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Carly Rae Jepson and Cody Simpson — the $2,700-per ticket-fundraiser sold out within days. Among the 250 attendees: Jeffrey Katzenberg, Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson, Usher, Jessica Alba, Mary Steenburgen, Alexander Soros, Kris Jenner, and singer Tori Kelly, who performed.
Clinton thanked the Hollywood crowd for being "angel investors in my start-up." She also candidly admitted that "it wasn't easy to decide to run for president again because, well, it's hard. But worth it," one attendee told The Hollywood Reporter.
Speaking for about 30 minutes, she told the liberal Westside gathering that she will defend Planned Parenthood and "women's right to choose." She said she also stands behind President Barack Obama's environmental initiatives and will continue them into her "second term." She joked about the Republicans calling her a "rogue grandmother" for advocating for early childhood education. "I guess that's true," she said.
Of all her entertainment industry gatherings this campaign season, the Braun fundraiser drew the largest number of high-wattage celebrities.
"The event has an emphasis on young Hollywood given Scooter's roster of clients," one longtime industry supporter told The Hollywood Reporter, noting that Braun, 34, has formed strong ties not only to young musicians but also to an array of leading actors.
Braun's involvement, however, has not come without controversy. In July, just days after the Clinton Campaign asked the talent manger to host the event, a video surfaced showing that one of Braun’s top clients — Grande — making anti-American comments and licking doughnuts at a shop in Lake Elsinore. The performer, who was not at the event on Thursday, later apologized.
"I am EXTREMELY proud to be an American and I've always made it clear that I love my country," Grande said in a statement. "What I said in a private moment with my friend, who was buying the doughnuts, was taken out of context and I am sorry for not using more discretion with my choice of words."
Braun took to Twitter to defend Grande. "Falling down is so necessary for us to appreciate standing up. Let’s not judge our young people so quick. Help them grow."