Wednesday night the Empire State Building was lit purple and red and downtown, NYC’s famed Cipriani Wall Street was abuzz for The 2008 Gabrielle’s Gala hosted by songwriter Denise Rich and her daughters in memory of Gabrielle, her daughter who died of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) at the age of 27. Created in 1996 because of Gabrielle’s own wish for a foundation to help spare others the suffering she endured, Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research is one of the largest non-governmental sources of grant support to blood cancer researchers at the nation’s leading institutions. With performances by Patti LaBelle (who sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”) and Gladys Knight, along with the help of a live auction, (items included tickets to the 2009 Academy Awards, jewelry from Lorraine Schwartz, a walk on role in ABC’s Desperate Housewives, and a luxury trip to London and Paris) last night’s event raised over $1.6 million! From SATC’s Evan Handler’s own personal battle with the disease and Christina Milian’s cute shout-out to newly married Nick Cannon, to Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin’s upcoming cameo on Gossip Girl, take a look at what the stars on the red-carpet had to say as they came out to support such a good cause.
Who are you wearing tonight? "Valentino and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry."
Talk about tonight and your friendship with Patti LaBelle? "I’m so excited! And Gladys Knight is performing and also Patti LaBelle. Gladys is a good friend and Patti is a sister. I love them both so much. I feel so honored that they came out for me tonight. It’s really special."
What brings you out tonight? "Well, I’m a friend of Denise’s and I want to support her and I love the way this awful thing happened to her and she’s made it into a very positive, helpful thing for the world. She’s a really great lady."
Upcoming projects? "The Tempest with Helen Mirren in Hawaii. I’ve never been to Hawaii. I’ve never been to Helen either" (Laughs).
What celebrity would make a good president? I think Susan Sarandon would be great because she’s very fair and has a great grasp of politics. And she’s sexy. "
We hear that you’re going to be appearing on Gossip Girl? "I shot the scene yesterday so I got to meet Leighton and Ed, nicest people ever, it was so much fun and I got to know them and take a few pictures and the scene is with them. It’s a really short scene, but it was an honor to be asked to do it and I’m really excited to see it."
What about more acting in the future? "Maybe, I would love to do a little bit more, so we’ll see."
Donald Trump Jr. spoke about the new baby on the way as well as the new season of Celebrity Apprentice.
Do you know if it’s a boy or a girl? "We don’t. We’re leaving it a surprise. It drove me crazy the first time. I really wanted a boy, ended up with a girl, and she’s so cool now. If I had all girls it wouldn’t be an issue. Also now I’m just totally indifferent, as long as it’s healthy."
Has your dad ever given you any parenting advice? "I’ll take advice from my father on a lot of things, that’s probably not one of them. He’s great at business! That’s where I keep my relationship. Anything business, I’ll ask him. Relationship, baby stuff, I’ll go to other sources or I’ll figure it out on my own."
How’s Celebrity Apprentice doing? "It’s been great. Really great guys, it’s going to be a lot of fun. You’ll see some interesting antics in the boardroom."
How do you feel about Aubrey O’Day and D. Woods being kicked out of Danity Kane? "Well, no matter what’s happening, me and Aubrey are kind of not talking right now, we had a big fight. But at the end of the day, they’re my sisters and I feel horrible that that’s what this has come to and I think Danity Kane still has what it takes to work it out, but it would take a lot of work at this point."
How is your album doing? "It’s slow right now, but it’s picking up, but I’m kind of glad it’s slow because it didn’t let me settle into the music industry, it keeps me working hard, it keeps me still feeling like I’m working towards something. I’m working on album # 2 already. So hopefully I’ll get to write more on this. I might start letting stuff leak to let it go and just, like keep a buzz going for the next album."
What do you have upcoming? "I’m about to head off to a 25-city tour. I’m hitting 18 cities in 22 days coming up. I’ll be speaking about the issues of the book [It's Only Temporary: The Good News and the Bad News of Being Alive, dealing with being diagnosed at 24 with the incurable disease] and reading from it and telling naked Sex and the City stories."
Is there going to be a sequel? "I have no idea. That’s all anybody asks me about now and I’m the last to know."
What can we except to see in Californication this season? "Well, four episodes have already aired so far. You’ve already seen Charlie Runkle get into loads of trouble...And the rest of the season features pretty prominently the almost absolute destruction of the Runkle family empire. It’s all downhill for Charlie."
How is David Duchovny? "I haven’t seen or spoken to David since the last day of work (way before everything hit the press). In season 1, I thought it’d be nice if I had a closer, more personal relationship with David and now simply because of all the uproar and all of the questions I get asked, I’m happy that I can say that I have no personal relationship or knowledge of his personal life. We have a great working relationship and I love the guy, but I haven’t got a tidbit to give anybody. I hear he’s doing great."
A little tidbit about the Duchess – Her favorite assets are her legs, red hair, blue eyes and her good heart.
As the red-carpet came to a close, Christina Milian ran into Cipriani due to the bitter wind, but when asked about ex Nick Cannon’s recent nuptials, the cutie songstress yelled out with a smile, “Congratulations to him!”
- Erin Dustin