*Lady Soul, Aretha Franklin, wants you to know that when it comes to President Obama and First lady Michelle, she has mad, mad love and r-e-s-p-e-c-t. Period. End of story.
Franklin was roundly hated on for having the gall to make an early exit for fundraising soiree for the prez and first lady to attend another event for which she says she was already committed to.
“I am a big fan of President Obama. He is very concerned about all people,” says Aretha Franklin, who has been unfairly criticized for leaving last Thursday’s fundraiser at the home of Sarah Jessica Parker.
“I arrived at 5pm and left at 7:30pm. I socialized with Meryl Streep, Michael Kors, Anna Wintour, Courtney Ross of the Ross School in the Hamptons and the President and First Lady after they arrived. We took lots of pictures and had a beautiful chat! I explained to them I had to leave for the Songwriters Hall of Fame Dinner, which was scheduled some time ago with Clive Davis-with whom I am collaborating on a late summer CD. The President and First Lady certainly understand and know about attending more than one event in an evening.”
Oh yeah, one other thing. Franklin, who loves beautiful homes, had high praise for Sarah Jessica Parker’s.
“I love the old world charm of her home and the pantry in her kitchen. I got to watch the executive chefs preparing delightful delicacies for the evening!”
*The Obama Campaign has added a second event to the president’s Oct. 24 fund-raising trip to Los Angeles that was initially to involve only a Latino fundraiser, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The new event will be a $35,800-per-person dinner at the Hancock Park home of “Hitch” producer James Lassiter and his wife, Mai, anc co-hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith; Troy Carter (Lady Gaga’s manager) and his wife, Rebecca; and Def Jam senior vp Jay Brown and his wife, Kawanna, head of Magic Johnson Enterprises.
Immediately following is Obama’s Latino fundraising gala at the nearby home of Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas.
Obama will go “table to table, sitting and conversing with each group of guests. He will address the group as a whole, informally and will take several questions from guests,” notes the Hollywood Reporter. Candid photos will be taken with all dinner guests.
The two events are expected to raise more than $1 million for the Obama re-election campaign.
The addition of the Lassiter event comes in the wake Thursday’s announcement that the Obama re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee raised more than $70 million during the third quarter of this year. At least 15 percent of the donations came from California, officials said. More details on Obama’s third-quarter fund-raising efforts are expected in the coming days.