$1 Million Of Missing Madonna Raising Malawi Money Came from AmFAR

Showbiz 411/March 29, 2011

There's money missing from Madonna‘s charity, Raising Malawi. I told you earlier that a grand jury's been convened to figure it all out. But let's not forget-$1 million of the money that went to Raising Malawi came from AmFAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.

Apparel magnate Kenneth Cole is now trying to put AmFAR on a new road. But in 2007-2008, as I first reported last May, AmFAR gave Raising Malawi a $1 million in kind donation after Madonna made an appearance at AmFAR's annual Cinema Against AIDS gala during the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.

In 2008, when she came to Cannes, everyone wondered why Madonna had finally just shown up so suddenly. My sources tell me now that it was to get money out of AmFAR for Raising Malawi. It was strange because Madonna's Ray of Light Foundation had given nearly nothing to AIDS organization- odd since she has such a big gay following. She did help raise money that night by auctioning off handbags.

But the Raising Malawi money is now gone, and no one seems capable of explaining what happened to it.

Originally, Madonna had put $5 million aside, my sources say, for a Spirituality for Kids school in New York. Like the one in Los Angeles, it was going to be the Kabbalah Children's Academy. When that school didn't pan out, I'm told the Bergs convinced Madonna to build a school in Malawi. And that's interesting, too, because Madonna said in her documentary that she was persuaded to build the school after meeting an African woman who told her about Malawi's plight. Not at all, says an insider.It was Kabbalah Centre's Michael Berg, son of founders Philip and Karen Berg, who didn't want her to take the $5 million back.

PS: You wouldn't think AmFAR could have afforded to give away a million dollars at thetime, considering their expenses. Their longtime leader, now gone, Jerome Radwin, took home $481,778 in 2008-2009. That was a raise from $365,379 the previous year.

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