Kicking off a star-studded weekend in Beverly Hills, Sean Penn hosted his fourth annual Help Haiti Home Gala on Saturday (January 9). The charity-focused event featured a silent auction and special performance from Penn’s ex-wife Madonna.
All the proceeds raised benefit the Penn’s J/P Haitian Relief Organization, which works to “save lives and build sustainable programs with the Haitian people quickly and effectively.”
After the horrendous earthquake in 2010, J/P HRO helps Haitians rebuild their communities by providing access to health care, education, housing, and economic opportunities. The 55-year-old actor founded the organization in 2010 and serves as chairman of the board and CEO.
A-list guests joined Penn and Madonna on the eve of the 73rd Golden Globe Awards including Justin Bieber and celebrity fashionista, Rachel Zoe. Also, the “Rebel Heart” babe brought her children David Banda and Mercy James with her for the big night.
According to reports, the former couple didn’t leave each other’s sides the entire evening, of course, sparking rekindled romance rumors. Madonna and Penn tied the knot in 1985 and headed to divorce court four years later after a notoriously unstable relationship. Both stars moved on with high-profile relationships. Madonna married Guy Ritchie in 2000 and divorced eight years later, while Penn married Robin Wright in 1996 and divorced 14 years later and proposed to Charlize Theron in 2014, but called it off in June 2015.
Whether or not the pair is heating up their former flame, we are more interested in their collaboration to raise awareness for the citizens of Haiti. Madonna took to the stage, after a heartfelt introduction from Penn, and told the crowd she “couldn’t think of a better place” to be on her night off from her “Rebel Heart” tour. She also reminisced back to when she visited Haiti with Penn and her son Rocco two years ago.
“Everywhere he went, people just, the crowds just parted, and it wasn’t because he’s a movie star and it’s not because he was carrying six guns. It’s because he put his heart and soul into this and with the help of so many people around the world and in this room,” Madonna said. “So I want to say that, Sean, I love you. From the moment that I laid eyes on you. And I still love you, just the same.”
Madonna then went on to perform a sweet rendition of “La Vie en Rose.”
— DrownedMadonna.com (@DrownedMadonna) January 10, 2016
In 2015, Penn’s Help Haiti Home gala raised more than $6 million for the J/P Haitian Relief Organization and featured a performance from fellow Haiti supporters, U2.