Sean Penn has brought Haiti back to the spotlight by holding an auction fundraiser at this year's Cannes Film Festival. While the final numbers were still being tallied, it is believed that the Oscar winner's "Carnival in Cannes Gala for Haitian Relief" event has managed to raise over $2 million for the country devastated by earthquake in 2010.
Among the items put on the auction block was a chance to join Penn on a three-day trip to Haiti. Three bidders eventually nailed it for a prize of over $128,000 each. Other items included a guitar owned by U2's Bono that reportedly went for $215,000, as well as a lunch with a Victoria's Secret Angel that was said being sold for $115,000.
This auction event benefited Penn's J/P Haitian Relief Organization, director Paul Haggis' Artists for Peace and Justice and supermodel Petra Nemcova's Happy Heart's Fund. It was the first official Cannes Film Festival event that did not have any movie as part of the festivities, and was attended by Gerard Butler, Diane Kruger, Jessica Chastain, Ben Stiller and many others.
A day before the auction, Penn blasted media and fellow celebrities for abandoning Haiti. TheWrap reported that the "Milk" star said before a room full of journalists on Thursday, May 17, "The reason we have Haiti fatigue is because there was never a commitment in the first place. It's not only celebrities who went for a day. It's the whole f***ing world. It's all of you."
The 51-year-old actor, who was recently honored with a 2012 Peace Summit Award for his humanitarian work in Haiti, further called on President Obama to meet with the country's newly-elected president Michel Joseph Martelly. "It is time for our formidable and elegant president to stand side by side with the new president of Haiti," so he said.