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Harvey Weinstein's links to amfAR makes gala complicated

NEW YORK — The shadow of Harvey Weinstein has loomed large over red carpets of late and the amfAR gala in New York was no exception.

Weinstein, the disgraced movie mogul accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, was also a huge fundraiser for amfAR and has come under fire for alleged questionable transactions involving the AIDS charity.

Lee Daniels, who was honoured by amfAR on Wednesday, was reluctant to speak about the Weinstein link, saying only. "I wouldn't know about that." Daniels earned an Oscar nomination for "Lee Daniels' The Butler," which was distributed by The Weinstein Company.

Federal prosecutors are looking at links between Weinstein, amfAR and the American Repertory Theater, a non-profit theatre that once produced the Broadway musical, "Finding Neverland," produced by Weinstein.

W magazine editor Stefano Tonchi, who was also honoured at the gala, was more candid on the issue, but felt it was important to remember the purpose of the charitable organization.

"I think there has been a lot of mistakes, also on the side of the board of amfAR. But I think we are coming out of it, and we want to reaffirm how this organization is really about saving lives. And if they made some mistake they did it in good faith," Tonchi said.

Fashion designer Kenneth Cole was the board chairman of amfAR at the time. Cole stepped down as chairman of board on Wednesday night.

This year's amfAR gala was hosted by Taraji P. Henson, and included a musical performance by Halsey. Heidi Klum, Adrien Brody, and Queen Latifah were among the celebrities that walked the red carpet.


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John Carucci, The Associated Press

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