Stars who lost homes raise funds for wildfire relief

 

Gerard Butler, who lost his Malibu, Calif., home in the Woolsey Fire, helped rally together a star-studded crowd on Friday to raise money for wildfire relief.

The actor, who described his neighborhood as a “war zone” after the fires swept through, thanked guests for rallying together at the last minute to fundraise for the Malibu Foundation, an organization launched by a group including Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, also victims of the fire, to rebuild the ravaged area. While onstage, Butler marveled at the turnout, as seen in clips posted to Instagram. He thanked guests for “pulling a rabbit out of the hat to be there at the last minute.” It’s a horrible time, he said, with “mothers and fathers with only the shirts on their backs having to explain to their kids what happened to their home. We’re here tonight to try and remedy that situation.”

One of the night’s performers was Robin Thicke, who also lost his home in Malibu. He took the stage to sing an emotional rendition of “Stand by Me.” Earlier in the day, Thicke was asked by a paparazzo if he was worried that his demolished property would be targeted by looters, who have been taking advantage of victims. He replied, “There’s nothing to loot at our house,” adding that it is just rubble.

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Homes destroyed by Southern California's Woolsey Fire
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Homes destroyed by Southern California's Woolsey Fire
A home burned down by a wildfire sits on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in Malibu, Calif. Fire officials say the lull allowed firefighters to gain 10 percent control of the so-called Woolsey Fire, which has burned more than 130 square miles in western Los Angeles County and southeastern Ventura County since Thursday. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A table and chairs stand outside of one of at least 20 homes destroyed just on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey Fire, it has consumed thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
A statuary figure of a boy stands outside one of at least 20 homes destroyed just on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey Fire, it has consumed tens of thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
A swimming pool is behind one burned home, with others at left, some of at least 20 homes destroyed just on Windermere Drive in the Point Dume area of Malibu, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Known as the Woolsey Fire, it has consumed tens of thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
A nearby fire truck throws red light on property burnt in the Woolsey Fire, along the coast in the Point Dume neighborhood in Malibu, California as night falls November 12, 2018. - Fire trucks are positions through out the city to respond to spot fires caused by wind-driven hot embers. Another three firefighters have been injured battling the Woolsey Fire, which has devoured mansions and mobile homes alike in the coastal celebrity resort of Malibu, while the death toll from a huge blaze in northern California rose to 42 on November 12, making it the deadliest wildfire in state history. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
The remnants of a home destroyed in the Woolsey fire are seen November 12, 2018 along Mulholland Highway in the hills above Malibu, California. - Another three firefighters have been injured battling the Woolsey Fire, which has devoured mansions and mobile homes alike in the coastal celebrity resort of Malibu, while the death toll from a huge blaze in northern California rose to 42 on November 12, making it the deadliest wildfire in state history. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
MALIBU, CA - NOVEMBER 12: All that remains of this home along Dume Drive in Malibu is the white picket fence. Dume road was hit hard by the Wolsey fire with multiple home damaged or destroyed. (Photo by David Crane/Digital First Media/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)
MALIBU, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Multiple houses along Dume Drive in Malibu were destroyed or damages by the Wolsey fire. (Photo by David Crane/Digital First Media/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)
MALIBU, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Multiple houses along Dume Drive in Malibu were destroyed or damages by the Wolsey fire. (Photo by David Crane/Digital First Media/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)
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Other celebrity participants included Sean Penn, who addressed the crowd; U2’s the Edge; Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber; Roma Downey and Mark Burnett; Minnie Driver; and Van Morrison, who also performed, with Jamie Foxx singing backup.

Penn’s speech included a message of thanks to the firefighters “who risked their lives to save our homes.”

Cyrus and Hemworth were instrumental in launching Malibu Foundation in the days after their house burned to the ground, leaving behind not much but their message of love. The pair donated $500,000 to the foundation for the relief efforts across the state, which is also hurting from the Camp Fire and others in Northern California.

On Saturday, President Trump was in the state to tour the devastation, which has left 71 dead and more than 1,000 missing so far. The president has been under attack for a tweet blaming “gross mismanagement” as the cause of the wildfires. His remark sparked a backlash from firefighters’ associations, politicians and celebrities.

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