Madonna Hits Back At Charity Party Critics
Pop superstar MADONNA has hit back at critics who objected to her using the United Nations headquarters in New York to host a charity party which tied in with the launch of a new Gucci store. The luxury fashion brand co-hosted the lavish event with the singer on Wednesday (06Feb08) night, which featured guest stars including Tom Cruise, Demi Moore and Drew Barrymore helping to raise money for UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) and Madonna's Raising Malawi Orphan Care Initiative. But the company came under fire for combining the charity event with the launch of a new shop in the city, leading to fears the event was more of a commercial venture than a fundraising gala. But Madonna dismissed the reports, insisting the sponsorship from Gucci was crucial if she was to attract enough attention to her good causes. She says, "I don't really pay any attention to that. I am grateful that Gucci has underwritten this event, that's all that matters to me - their generosity. There's always controversy surrounding anything that involves change. "I want to put Raising Malawi on the map. I want credibility as a philanthropic organisation. I want to inspire people. I don't want them to just write me a check: I want them to give me a piece of their heart."