Pamela Anderson fury as Notre-Dame gets funds for children in need

Marseille (AFP) –


Former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson stormed out of a football fundraiser in Marseille after 100,000 euros were earmarked for fire-damaged Notre-Dame rather than for children in the French port city.

Tuesday night's gala, which was organised by Olympique Marseille, one of France's most decorated football clubs, was flagged as a fundraiser for children in need.

But the decision to channel the sum (the equivalent of $112,000) to Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, which was badly damaged by a huge fire early last week, drew a swift rebuke from Anderson on Wednesday.

"Last night we attended @OM_Officiel annual Gala to help raise money for youth suffering in Marseille - full of good intentions while raising a meaningful amount of ? for a great cause. Then ?big surprise auction item? came to raise money for rebuilding Notre Dame???" she wrote on Twitter.

"Surely the children suffering in Marseille could have used the 100,000 euros more than the church that has already received over a billion in donations by billionaires," she railed.

"I hope they will reconsider and give to where it is needed, to the community here in Marseille where it was intended. And would go much further in making lives better."

The 51-year-old actress and model, who holds both US and Canadian citizenship, attended the fundraiser with her partner Adil Rami, an Olympique Marseille defender.

Some of France's biggest companies and richest tycoons, including luxury goods rivals Francois-Henri Pinault and Bernard Arnault, have pledged amounts of 100 million euros or more for Notre-Dame's reconstruction.

Donation pledges so far have reached 850 million euros.

Without replying directly to her remarks, Olympique Marseille said the total amount raised during the evening was 439,760 euros.

The devastating Notre Dame blaze erupted on April 15, felling the spire, destroying two-thirds of the Gothic cathedral's wooden roof, and leaving the entire structure in very fragile condition.

Construction of the Paris landmark began in the mid-12th century and lasted for 200 years.

President Emmanuel Macron wants it rebuilt within five.