There are times when bad news results in great news. This is one of those times.
Remember back in August when it was announced that Mandy Moore would be the keynote speaker for the New Friends New Life 2oth Annual Luncheon on Friday, November 9? Word has just arrived that Mandy won’t be able to be at the podium. Evidently, word has it that “she could in no way get out of production of the TV Show because of production schedule changes.”
Now, before pulling out the hankies and boo-hooing, relax. Wait until you learn who will be front and center! It will be six-foot tall actress Uma Thurman, who has been known for
- dancing with John Travolta in “Pulp Fiction.”
- being Poison Ivy to George Clooney’s Batman.
- divorcing actors Gary Oldman and Ethan Hawke.
- having size 11 feet.
- getting even with her boss in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill.”
But perhaps you didn’t know about her childhood that was not the norm. It included having eccentric parents — her mother was a fashion model and socialite who had been married to LSD proponent Timothy Leary and her father was a professor and academic who was one of the nation’s foremost Buddhist scholars. It resulted in “the family constantly relocated, making the gangly, socially inept Thurman perpetually the new kid in class. The result was an exceptionally awkward, self-conscious, lonely and alienated childhood.”
But she overcame those challenges to become a Hollywood star. However, the rising of that star wasn’t as dazzling as one might suspect. It seems that despite winning accolades and respect from her peers, she had been raped, sexually assaulted and betrayed over the years. And to make matters worse, the very people that she trusted, like Tarantino, dismissed her charges. That is, until she revealed publicly the violence in an interview with The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd this past February. Her interview opened a bucket of dirt that sullied the reputation of the legendary Creative Artists Agency, shamed Tarantino and only fueled the flames that were devouring producer Harvey Weinstein.
In concluding her interview, Uma admitted, “Personally, it has taken me 47 years to stop calling people who are mean to you ‘in love’ with you. It took a long time because I think that as little girls we are conditioned to believe that cruelty and love somehow have a connection, and that is like the sort of era that we need to evolve out of.”
According to NFNL CEO Kim Robinson, “Ms. Thurman’s heart for those experiencing poverty, and her willingness to stand on behalf of those whose human rights have been violated, are just a few of the many reasons why we are honored that she has accepted our invitation to join us in celebrating survivors and advocates during this milestone event.”
Another bit of news that was revealed by NFNL Co-Chairs Connie Kleinert Babikian, McCall Cravens and Jill Meyer and Honorary Co-Chairs Marla and Mike Boone at the 20th Anniversary Luncheon Launch Party is the 2018 class of ProtectHER awardees. This year’s recipients include
- International — Victor Boutros, founder of the Human Trafficking Institute;
- National — Becca Stevens, founder and president of Thistle Farms;
- State — the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault; and
- Local —The Dallas Morning News
Tickets are still available, but very limited.