DiCaprio raises $54.7m for environment at charity gala

DiCaprio raises $54.7m for environment at charity gala

SAINT-TROPEZ, France - Leonardo DiCaprio raised over US$40 million (S$54.7 million) for the environment at a charity gala in St. Tropez, where he auctioned off art by Banksy, a trip to the Arctic with Prince Albert of Monaco and private concerts with Elton John.

The Hollywood star of box-office hits such as "Titanic" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" is also an avid greenie who has his own environmental foundation.

He opened the gala Wednesday night by offering several of his own items for auction, including a Rolex Daytona Cosmograph watch and Andy Warhol and Banksy artworks which raised over US$2 million.

The fund-raising will support efforts to "protect key species like the tiger, rhino, shark, and mountain gorilla by working with governments to conserve the jungles, coral reefs and forests they call home," the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation said in a statement.

"We've decimated our forests, wildlands, polluted and over-fished our rivers and oceans - all the key ecosystems that not only serve as a home to our planet's biodiversity, but also make life here for us possible," DiCaprio said.

Several luxury items and once-in-a-lifetime experiences were up for grabs at the French Riviera auction.

They included an estate home on DiCaprio's own island off Belize that sold for over US$11 million.

Prince Albert II offered Arctic expeditions and private diving experiences in which he would accompany the bidder.

Two people bought private concerts worth a total of US$3 million with Elton John who also put on an impromptu performance during the evening.

Movie producer Harvey Weinstein auctioned off the chance to be his personal guest for an entire year at coveted events such as the Academy Awards and Cannes Film Festival.

Celebrities such as Kate Hudson, Orlando Bloom, Marion Cotillard, Adrien Brody, Goldie Hawn, Heidi Klum and Chris Tucker attended the gala.

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