See the stars come out for Nelson Mandela's celebrity-packed birthday dinner
An array of stars from the sports, music and movie world hit London’s Hyde Park last night for a dinner to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday.
Robert DeNiro, Denzel Washington, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, Forest Whitaker and Uma Thurman were among the many A-listers making up the Hollywood contingent, while Annie Lennox, Peter Gabriel and the (brightly-coloured) Sugababes were famous music faces in attendance. Even Queen of the Sofa Oprah Winfrey flew over just for the occasion.
SEE ALL THE GLAMOROUS PHOTOS HERE And the surprise guest? Naomi Campbell, who had been removed from the Hyde Park concert playlist at the request of Mandela himself, it has been reported.
The former South African leader personally asked that Naomi be removed from the list of presenters for the concert on Friday following her recent ‘air rage’ saga.
The supermodel was last week fined and sentenced to 200 hours’ community service after pleading guilty to assaulting two police officers on a BA flight in April.
A source close the event said: ‘The man himself intervened and she was pulled off the list. He was disappointed with her recent arrest - particularly as she was wearing a 46664 baseball cap at the time.'
These numbers are significant as they represent Mandela’s prison number during his 27-year incarceration, and now promote his AIDS awareness campaign.
The model was nevertheless in attendance at the dinner last night, with new boyfriend Marcus Elias on her scantily-clad arm.
Other stars on the guest-list included Formula 1 ace Lewis Hamilton and his new squeeze, Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, and political big-wigs Gordon Brown and former US President Bill Clinton.
Mandela took the opportunity to break his silence on the political situation in Zimbabwe. He addressed the ‘tragic failure of leadership’ in Zimbabwe, following weeks of violence, which have guaranteed the re-election of president Robert Mugabe tomorrow.
Mandela’s comments come as Britain steps up its diplomatic offensive, as the Queen approves stripping the leader of his honorary knighthood over his ‘abuse of human rights’ and ‘abject disregard for diplomacy.
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