The room pulsated with Hollywood clout on Friday October 5 as Variety presented its fourth annual "Power of Women" awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel, sponsored by Audi, Tiffany's and Lifetime TV, in conjunction with the magazine's annual Women's Impact Report.
And it wasn't just the six "Lifetime Impact" honorees - actresses Jessica Biel, Katherine Heigl, Halle Berry, Queen Latifah, Felicity Huffman and Warner Bros. executive Sue Kroll - who made the ballroom seem like the center of the Tinseltown universe, for plenty of their friends (both male and female) turned out in support.
Look one way, there was Justin Timberlake, who dried his fiancée Jessica Biel's tears after she got all choked up receiving her Tiffany & Co. Luminary Award for her work with Charity: Water. Look the other, and there was Olivier Martinez, who gazed lovingly on Halle Berry, who took home a prize for her devotion to Jenesse Center.
"I've been a victim of domestic violence," Berry admitted, explaining why the center that provides shelter and other services for battered women has become a cause she champions. "It's important for us to shed light on our dark moments," she continued, then admitted she first got involved in the organization after her well-publicized hit-and-run accident in 2000. When she was assigned community service by the judge in her case, "that catapulted me into doing what I was meant to do," she confessed.
Honoree Katherine Heigl was also catapulted into her activism, when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer 17 years ago.
"It's very appropriate that I am talking about my mother's survival today, at the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month," Heigl said, also tearing up. "I'm very grateful that she is still here with us." The actress was honored with the American Cancer Society's Celebrate More Birthdays Award for her continuing activism in the fight against the disease.
Felicity Huffman's "Desperate Housewives" pal Kyle MacLachlan presented her with her trophy, for her work with the Entertainment Industry Foundation, then Paula Patton handed Queen Latifah her award, honoring the educational fund (Lancelot H. Owens Scholarship Foundation) that she created in memory of her late brother.
But what the Queen really wanted to discuss was women.
"We women need to come together," she reminded the rapt crowd that also included Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, Ashley Greene, Stacey Keibler, Geena Davis, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ana de la Reguera and the afternoon's host, Maria Menounos. "What you do every day to make a difference for others, that's what makes you a powerful woman!"
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