Sharon Stone received the Courage Award on Thursday night during the Women’s Cancer Research Fund’s (WCRF) An Unforgettable Evening fundraiser and offered some remarks that left her in tears.
"I brought a couple of notes tonight," said Stone. "I usually just speak off the cuff because, as you well know, I don’t give a s**t."
The 65-year-old actress stood behind the podium inside the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire ballroom and spoke to a crowd that included Rebel Wilson, Nia Vardalos, Rachel Zoe, Lisa Rinna, Harry Hamlin, Julianne Hough, Chord Overstreet, Maria Bello, Dominique Crenn, Lori Loughlin, Olivia Jade Giannulli, Paul Wesley, NJ Falk, and Kathy and Rick Hilton.
Stone was presented with the trophy by gala chair Jamie Tisch who said, "What makes you a shining star, to me, is not just your talent, your beauty, and your grace but your resilience no matter what life throws your way. Thank you for rising up, time and time again, and inspiring all of us by your radiant example."
Stone took the time to encourage attendees to donate more money to benefit WCRF, paid respects to Hero Award recipients Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson and Richard J Stephenson and put a spotlight on breast cancer survivors by asking them to stand up and be recognized by the crowd.
"Those mammograms are not fun," she said. "And for someone like me who was told that I had breast cancer because I had a tumor that was larger than my breast and they were sure that I couldn’t possibly have a tumor without it being cancer, it wasn’t. But I went to the hospital, saying, 'If you open me up and it’s cancer, please take both my breasts,' because I am not a person defined by my breasts. You know, that might seem funny coming from me since you’ve all seen ‘em."
She added, "You’ve all seen ‘em since the surgery and you don’t even know it. So don’t ever feel compelled not to get a mammogram, not to get a blood test, not to get surgery because it doesn’t matter. I’m standing here telling you I had one-and-a-half and more tissue of my breasts removed and none of you knew it."
In her memoir, The Beauty of Living Twice, Stone revealed she had surgery to remove tumors from her breasts in the '90s and suffered a stroke in 2001.
Stone then broke down in tears as she tried to get the crowd to open their checkbooks again, this time for HIV/AIDS and other causes on behalf of organizations like amfAR.
"I know that thing that you have to get on and figure out how to text the money is difficult. I’m a technical idiot, but I can write a f**king check. And right now, that’s courage, too, because I know what’s happening. I just lost half my money to this banking thing, and that doesn’t mean that I’m not here," said Stone.
Though she didn’t elaborate on the specific "banking thing" that caused her losses, her remarks come on the heels of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and resulting financial markets volatility.
Stone then referenced her brother, Patrick Stone, who died last month at age 57 due to heart disease.
"My brother just died, and that doesn’t mean that I’m not here. This is not an easy time for any of us," she said. "This is a hard time in the world, but I’m telling you what, I’m not having some politician tell me what I can and cannot do. How I can and cannot live, and what the value of my life is and is not. So stand up. Stand up and say what you’re worth. I dare you. That’s what courage is."
Maroon 5 closed out the event with a show they donated to the cause.