As I covered on Sunday, the night before the Golden Globes, Sean Penn hosted an A-list gala to benefit his Help Haiti charity. The benefit had a much better guest list than any other event during Golden Globes Weekend, perhaps because people wanted to schmooze with Sean and his new girlfriend Charlize Theron. Charlize was in attendance, of course, and they sat together during the charity auction. Yes, there was an auction. And Sean auctioned off a very special Jeff Koons sculpture that he (Sean) commissioned at Charlize’s behest. It turns out that Charlize convinced Sean to give up all of his guns, so Sean gave his guns to Jeff Koons to make into a sculpture. Weird story, right?
Charlize Theron has convinced new boyfriend Sean Penn that it’s time to give up his gun collection. The Milk actor revealed this last night at his J/P HRO Haiti benefit, where a live auction item included a sculpture that Jeff Koons will make from his nearly 65 guns.
While Penn didn’t refer to Theron by her name, he said that “a strong woman who happens to be from South Africa” changed his mind about owning the deadly weapons. (Theron was just 17 when her mother shot and killed her father after he apparently fired his own gun into the future Oscar-winner’s bedroom after a night of drinking and threatening to kill her.)
“Being provoked by this aforementioned strong woman and considering how liberating of bulls–t and ugliness it would be not only get rid of the guns I have in the continental United States but also to destroy them, Jeff Koons and I had a chat the other day,” Penn said.
He said, “The highest bidder gets every single one of my guns put in the hands of this iconic artist and sculptor…Koons will decommission [and] render inactive all of my cowardly killing machines.”
And guess who won the still-to-be-made artwork for $1.4 million? Anderson Cooper! He outbid his CNN colleague Piers Morgan who stopped bidding at $1.3 million.
Cooper wasn’t the only boldface name spending big money last night. Coldplay rocker Chris Martin, with wife Gwyneth Paltrow by his side, won a 39″x48″ painting on a wooden board by British street artist Banksy for $650,000. The night raised a total of $6 million.
The evening, which took place at the Montage hotel in Beverly Hills, ended with a performance by U2. Among the star-studded crowd were also Penn’s children, Dylan and Hopper, as well as his mom.
So many details to discuss. First of all, Sean owned 65 GUNS?! I mean, I knew he was a gun owner and that’s fine and God bless, but having a collection of 65 GUNS? Once you get past, like, 20 guns, I suppose it’s all gravy. Gun gravy. Second of all, it’s insane that a Jeff Koons gun sculpture would be worth $1.4 million, but I guess it’s for a good cause and I can’t believe Anderson Cooper throws around money like that. Third thing: Chris Martin spent $650,000 on a tiny Banksy painting? That’s a lot of GOOP. Gwyneth is going to be so smug about that in this week’s Goop-letter, I can just feel it.
Photos courtesy of WENN, PR Photos.