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This story first appeared in the May 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Los Angeles might be Hollywood’s hometown, but the entertainment industry rarely bothers to become invested in local politics. Still, every once in a while, an L.A. office-seeker catches the activists’ attention.
That’s the case with Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey, who is running against City Attorney Carmen Trutanich to replace her retiring boss, Steve Cooley, in the tight race for L.A. County chief prosecutor. With the June primary just weeks away, Oscar-nominated producer Lawrence Bender opened his Holmby Hills home April 24 to raise money for Lacey’s campaign.
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The hosts of the event — which netted about $65,000 — included Bender; Lady Gaga manager Troy Carter; film producer Gary Gilbert; Alex Avant, son of Motown great Clarence Avant; and entertainment lawyer Michael Heimbold. Also attending were financier Alex von Furstenberg; Mai Lassiter, wife of Will Smith producing partner James Lassiter; and event planner Jeffrey Best. The crowd of about 75, who paid as much as $1,500 apiece to attend, were treated to an acoustic set by Macy Gray.
“I’m the first in my family to go to college, who ended up going to USC on a scholarship,” Lacey, 55, told the crowd. “There has never been a woman district attorney in Los Angeles County. There has never been a person of color. If this happens for me, it will make history.”
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Hitting on an issue Hollywood cares about, Lacey told the group she recently met with executives at Fox, NBCUniversal, Sony and Disney to discuss piracy. If elected, she promised to appoint a special liaison to work on the problem.
“She has a strong point of view but also an open mind,” Bender said. “She feels like a real leader.”
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