Charities and celebs seek distance from controversial Israeli settlement-builder
See Oxfam Statement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY, October 27, 2008 – The October 28 release of the celebrity portrait book Hollywood Pinups by photographer Timothy White is being marred by controversy, as a charity and stars distance themselves from Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev who provided the jewelry worn by stars in the book. Oxfam America is named in the book as recipient of White’s book sales proceeds, and on the page immediately before, Leviev is thanked for his “support and contribution” to the book. In response, Oxfam America, which had renounced Leviev in January, has again decried Leviev’s settlement construction and diamond mining practices, and announced that it will be informing others of “the deliberate strategy of Leviev Diamonds to connect itself with unwitting charities and celebrities.” In June, UNICEF renounced all connections with Leviev.
Eighteen of twenty-three celebrity women in the book wore Leviev’s diamonds. The New York rights coalition Adalah-NY has contacted many - Susan Sarandon, Tea Leoni, Felicity Huffman, Vanessa Williams, Kate Hudson, Kate Walsh, Molly Sims, Mary-Kate Olsen, and Gina Gershon - and asked them to renounce all connections with Leviev. Adalah-NY also notes that a photo of Oxfam “Ambassador” Kristin Davis wearing Leviev’s jewelry has been removed from Leviev’s website. Susan Sarandon, who was previously embroiled in controversy after attending the opening of Leviev's New York jewelry store despite a protest, wrote the book’s foreward, but did not wear Leviev’s diamonds in her photo in Hollywood Pinups.