10:43pm PT by Chris Gardner
Inside Hillary Clinton's Final, Star-Studded L.A. Fundraiser Before Election
In the most volatile week of the entire presidential campaign — an unprecedented one in American politics that has seen Republican nominee Donald Trump accused of sexually assaulting multiple women over the course of several decades — his rival, Hillary Clinton, is taking nothing for granted.
That was the Democratic frontrunner's message on Thursday night at what was billed as her "final Los Angeles dinner" prior to the election on Nov. 8. And it was a big one.
Clinton held court at the Los Angeles home of Casey and Laura Wasserman, who co-hosted the private fundraiser along with Clinton's loyal Hollywood supporters Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Haim and Cheryl Saban, Thomas and Alba Tull, Sean and Alexandra Parker and Chris and Crystal Sacca.
Tickets for the event started at $33,400 and went as high as $100,000, and for the price, supporters were able to catch Clinton in her first local stop since being forced to cancel a round of events in mid-September after falling ill after a 9/11 memorial service. It was later revealed that Clinton had been diagnosed with pneumonia.
She looked healthy on Thursday, and a source inside the Wasserman home tells The Hollywood Reporter that Clinton thanked the hosts of the evening, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Senator Kevin de Leon, before delivering remarks.
"We are 25 days out and now we need to turn out every voter, because if we do, we win," Clinton told the big-money crowd, which included other longtime supporters like Barbra Streisand and Lynn Forester de Rothschild. (Casey Wasserman was charged with introducing Clinton prior to her speech.) "This has been an unpredictable election and I'm taking nothing for granted."
Predictably entertaining was the night's other headliner — Elton John. He performed a strong set and was heard telling the crowd why he backs Clinton. "We need a humanitarian in the White House, not a barbarian," said John, who added that he loves all that Clinton stands for: "Equality, decency, kindness and respect."
The outspoken singer said Clinton has dedicated her life to those principles. "She is, without a doubt, the only candidate supremely qualified to lead this great nation in these challenging times," he continued. "I’ve dedicated the past quarter century of my life to the fight against AIDS — to advocating for the human rights of all people ... no matter who they are, who they love, or where they live. And Hillary has been doing this important work — fighting for equality, for the rights of all people — long before I was. She’s amassed an astonishing record of achievement — unmatched by any American politician today."
He then took a not-so-subtle dig at Trump's slogan to make American great again. "America is already great – and Hillary is a part of the reason why," he said. "So tonight, I’m proud to say: I’m with her!"
The dinner marked yet another campaign stop by the Clintons in the area. Former President Bill Clinton was the last to circle through town when he hosted a $100,000-per-couple event at the home of Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg on Sept. 13, filling in for his then-ill wife.
Clinton has received much more public support in Hollywood throughout the election than rival Trump, who found himself defending yet another round of sexual assault claims on Thursday. His defensive tactic? Denial and blaming the Clintons and the media for what he claims is a conspiracy as a result of calculated attack on his campaign.
“These vicious claims about me, of inappropriate conduct with women, are totally and absolutely false. The Clintons know it, and they know it very well. These claims are all fabricated. They’re pure fiction and they’re outright lies. These events never, ever happened, and the people who said that fully understand," he said on Thursday. "The corporate media in our country is no longer involved in journalism. They're a political special interest, no different from any other lobbyist or financial entity with a total political agenda."