Rosario Dawson Calls for Ebola Action During amfAR New York Gala Speech
"I've known Rosario since she was a b-cup, so I've known her longer than most!" said Chris Rock of his 'Top Five' co-star, adding that they've never dated because "it's like, 'I can't, I'm saving lives.' "
Before kicking off New York Fashion Week, the fashion industry mingled with the city's AIDS activists at Wednesday night's amfAR gala at New York City's Cipriani Wall Street.
The AIDS research and awareness organization's bash — which raised $2.25 million — drew its perennial supporters Heidi Klum, Naomi Campbell, Donna Karan and Chanel Iman, while inaugurating Jeremy Piven and Kendall Jenner into the fundraiser's biannual roster. Chelsea Clinton, Brooke Shields, Gilles Mendel, Hailey Baldwin, Paris Hilton, Nicky Hilton, Whoopi Goldberg, EJ Johnson, Zachary Quinto, Michelle Rodriguez, Ashley Graham and Vera Wang, among others, were also in attendance.
A welcoming Piven, describing himself as "the Jewish Tom Ford," and a visibly pregnant Coco Rocha kicked off the night, which honored actress Rosario Dawson, musician Harry Belafonte and artist Patrick Demarchelier.
Presenting the award to Dawson, her Top Five co-star Chris Rock told guests he was late because he went to another Cipriani location, "because Brian Williams told me it was there! Six-month suspension? Haha, that's fired where I come from! He got more game than Ray Rice." When they appeared shocked at his comments, Rock jested, "What did you expect from me?"
"I've known Rosario since she was a b-cup, so I've known her longer than most! … She's got the greatest tits in the business," he continued, also poking fun at Dawson's constant and diverse activism efforts. "[She] is one of those rare actors who is both self-centered and a humanitarian. … This is why we've never dated, because you're so f—ing busy! Can't get in there. You wanna get in there, it's like, 'I can't, I'm saving lives.' "
Dawson, in Emilio Pucci, dedicated the honor to her mother and her loved ones with HIV, and condemned how the disease is still criminalized in society "to the point where people are afraid to take their medicine at work." The actress and Studio 189 creator also seized the opportunity to call for further action against Ebola in Sierra Leone: "It's turning back the clock."
Anna Wintour also presented the award to a speechless Demarchelier, and Kenneth Cole paid tribute to Belafonte, a speech followed by Regina Spektor's performance of "Island in the Sun" while playing the piano and a drum. Karlie Kloss, Marcia Gay Harden, Campbell and Klum assisted with the live auction, and Shirley Bassey closed the program with an applauded big-band performance.