Last week, Jaybird threw up the link for the story about Charlize Theron auctioning off her kiss for $140,000 at a San Francisco event. Charlize ended up kissing one lucky (and rich) lady for 20 seconds as the audience counted down. The whole thing was for charity – the money benefits the OneXOne Foundation, which works on poverty issues in Africa, specifically “water, hunger, healthcare, education and play”. This woman that Charlize made out with was actually bidding on a rather amazing package deal: a 2010 trip to South Africa, tickets to the World Cup, a safari, and a meet-and-greet with Nelson Mandela. Unfortunately for all involved, it seems that Charlize didn’t get Mandela’s permission for such a deal. And now Mandela is refusing to meet with the high bidder! Ruh-roh.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation has accused actress Charlize Theron of selling a meeting with the former leader without permission.
Oscar-winning Theron, 34, raised £85,500 for charity last week by auctioning the chance to visit her native South Africa and meet the elderly former president. The sale hit the headlines when the actress agreed to kiss the highest bidder during a charity gala event in San Francisco.
Images were beamed around the world of Theron locking lips with the lucky female winner, who was due to travel to meet Mr Mandela, 91, during a trip timed to coincide with next year’s football World Cup.
But today a spokesman for the frail former freedom fighter said the meeting might not be possible because Theron had not sought permission from Mr Mandela before arranging the auction.
Achmat Dangor, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said: ‘There is a very rigorous process that is followed to secure a meeting with Mr Mandela, and as yet, we have not have had any such request from Charlize Theron.’
The winning bidder at the OneXOne auction may now be told she cannot meet Mr Mandela. Officials said the Foundation would consider any future request received from Theron, but that nothing was certain.
Mr Mandela, who turned 91 in July, has now fully retired from public life and only grants personal audiences to a tiny proportion of those who request them. His spokesman said he did not usually agree to be offered in charity auctions.
Mr Dangor added: ‘It should also be noted that even the charities that he created have never auctioned off time with Mr Mandela. We nevertheless wish Ms Theron well in her charity work.’
Theron is South Africa’s most famous Hollywood actress. She was born on a farm near the town of Benoni in South Africa’s Gauteng province and hit fame in the 1990s with a string of roles in films including The Cider House Rules and The Devil’s Advocate.
In 2004 she received a heroine’s welcome from Mr Mandela when she returned to South Africa after winning a ‘Best Actress’ Oscar for her role in the film Monster. Unable to control her emotion as she shook hands with the veteran freedom fighter in Johannesburg, she burst into tears and told him: ‘I love you so much.’
Despite Mr Mandela’s frail state, his Foundation continues to run charitable and community projects around the world. The former African National Congress activist continues to make occasional public appearances and statements. He lives in Johannesburg with his third wife Graca Machell.
[From The Daily Mail]
First of all, Charlize is an idiot to auction off a meeting with Mandela without his permission. That’s just rude. Secondly, Charlize is going to have to scramble to make it up to this high-bidder woman. Sure, it’s nice to make out with Charlize (I guess, but whatever, she seems like an ice princess to me), and it would be nice to go on a safari and see the World Cup and everything, but I’m sure that woman was really looking forward to meeting Mandela. That would be the only reason I would ever bid on such an item.
Speaking of Mandela, did anyone watch Endgame on PBS this past weekend? Between Jonny Lee Miller (as Michael Young) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (as President Mbeki), I was getting hot flashes as I learned about the secret talks to end apartheid. Good stuff!