There are few images from 1990s cinema that are as iconic as Sharon Stone’s Basic Instinct scene. The simple act of crossing her legs in the 1992 film propelled the actress to levels of super-stardom. Since then, she has remained a staunch advocate and avid fundraiser who now boasts an impressive charitable portfolio.
In 2016, Stone joined many members of the Hollywood elite by donating her denim jeans to the project Jeans for Refugees. Started by the artist Johny Dar, the fundraising project takes jeans donated by stars like Stone, Elton John and Julianne Moore and turns them into pieces of art. First Dar uses the donated denim as a blank canvas to create a piece of artwork.
Then they are used to benefit the International Refugee Committee. Some jeans are auctioned off to generate funds, while others are collected and displayed in exhibitions around the world, like the new exhibition opening April 2017 in the Soho district of Manhattan. The jeans donated by Stone raised $5,500 for the International Refugee Committee.
Jeans for Refugees was not the first time Stone donated clothes for a charity fundraiser. Several pieces by designer Roberto Cavalli, including a coat from Stone’s Basic Instinct wardrobe, were donated to Yala Young Leaders. Started in 2011 by Uri Savir, Yala works as an online mediation group that seeks peace in the Middle East. By using social media sites like Facebook for digital engagement and communication, the group operates with the goal to foster peaceful coexistence.
The innovative project has garnered the support of many prominent global leaders, including Bill and Hillary Clinton and Facebook vice president David Fischer. In addition to her donated wardrobe, Stone serves as the Head of the Culture and Arts Department for Yala. In this position, she regularly hosts discussions about the importance of peace on Facebook and contributes to the site’s blog.
These refugee projects are strong indicators of her commitment to helping global causes, but AIDS relief is really the heart of her life’s work. Ever since Stone’s Basic Instinct role catapulted her to the A-list, she has used her platform to benefit the cause. She has served as the global fundraising chairwoman for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) since 1998. She is frequently seen taking charge of celebrity fundraising auctions, going so far as to hassle her fellow celebs into donating more money.
Her commitment to alleviating the impact of AIDS around the world has brought tremendous recognition for her work, culminating in her receiving the Nobel Peace Summit Award in 2013. Her excellent fundraising capabilities were put on display when she hosted the event in 2014 and raised more than $35 million in one night, a record-breaker for amfAR.
Throughout her prolific career, Stone has maintained a devotion to making the world a better place. Whether she accepts a Golden Globe award for her role in Casino or a Nobel Peace Summit Award from the Dalai Lama, it seems that she feels more at home helping to raise money for charity than she does on any red carpet. Somehow, it all seems to make perfect sense. Basic Instinct may have made her a bona fide movie star, but it is Stone’s basic instinct to give back to the charity that has really solidified her status as a titan of Hollywood philanthropy.
– Jeffery Silvey