Sarah Jessica Parker carefully assembled the guest list for last week's $40,000-per-plate fundraiser at her West Village, Manhattan, home, which she shares with husband Matthew Broderick. Not only did the "Sex and the City" star want to put together a good group of 50; she also wanted to make sure they raised as much money as possible for President Barack Obama.
"In this business, famous folks often get invited to events for free. They are begged to show up and sometimes even given cars to get them to a party, but SJP's event was totally different," a friend of one celebrity who attended told me. "For the first time, every single person that attended had to pay -- no exceptions."
Among those who went were Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-chief, and Meryl Streep, who played a character based on Wintour in the 2006 film adaptation of the roman à clef "The Devil Wears Prada." Other guests included fashion designer and "Project Runway" star Michael Kors and the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.
"All these people are very wealthy, and paying $40,000 for dinner was no big deal for them," one insider said. "Many would have paid more for a once-in-a-lifetime experience to have dinner at Carrie Bradshaw's house with the real-life president and first lady." (Carrie Bradshaw was Parker's iconic "Sex and the City" role.)
Marti Adams, director of event communications for Obama for America, confirmed that "each seat was paid for."
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