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Trip to space with DiCaprio sold for €1.2m


Carey Mulligan and Leonardo Di Caprio. Photo: AP

Carey Mulligan and Leonardo Di Caprio. Photo: AP

Carey Mulligan and Leonardo Di Caprio. Photo: AP

A trip to space with Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio raised €1.2m for charity at a glitzy fundraiser at the Cannes film festival last night.

At the 20th annual event organised by amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, DiCaprio emerged as the mystery guest to accompany the winner on a Virgin Galactic flight into space.

DiCaprio stars in The Great Gatsby, which opened the 66th Cannes festival.

Actress Sharon Stone said the winning bidder would spend three days in training with DiCaprio in New Mexico before blast-off. "You don't get to go to outer space every day with a handsome movie star," said Stone, dressed in a tight-fitting white dress with a gold snake trim.

The bidding started at €1m. The brochure for the gala held at the five-star Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, near Cannes, said DiCaprio and the winning bidder would be among the first 1,000 people to leave the planet.

The winner, Vasily Klyukin (37), a Russian living in Monaco, said he had always wanted to go into space.

"I want to be a bit daring," said Klyukin, who works in real estate. "I will have to give up smoking now for sure!"

After the successful bid from Klyukin, Stone announced two other tickets were available on the flight. They raised another €1.8m.

The auction raised €25m, more than double last year's sum of €11m.

Stars at the event included DiCaprio, jury members Nicole Kidman and Christopher Waltz, singers Kylie Minogue and Janet Jackson, and actors Adrien Brody, Jessica Chastain and Goldie Hawn.