So much for a prix-fixe menu. A luncheon for two with former president Bill Clinton and his wife, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, recently sold at auction for $500,000, but is now facing some controversy regarding reported requests to raise the price. The exorbitantly priced meal was organized to benefit the Clinton Foundation, but unexpected requests to raise the winning bid at auction $500,000 to $1 million have people questioning whether the Clinton Foundation or CharityBuzz, the sponsoring organization of the auction, are being dishonest.
The auction benefiting the Clinton Foundation was won by a Chinese business mogul, the Washington Times reported. The event was hosted by CharityBuzz, a for-profit company that helps nonprofits raise money for themselves by facilitating populated online sales featuring celebrity experiences and rare memorabilia auctions. While being bid on, the lunch was described as a 45-minute to one-hour long outing . Assuming that the Clinton's do end up spending the entire 60 minutes with the winner, the meal is worth over $8,300 per minute.
The Chinese businessman who won the auction reportedly asked if he could bring his children along to the luncheon. Though the request seems entirely reasonable, he was apparently told that he was more than welcome to bring his kids if he was willing to up the price tag of the event to an even $1 million. Unsurprisingly, he ultimately decided that he would opt to take the luncheon without his children by his side.
Reactions from the Clinton Foundation and CharityBuzz
The Clinton Foundation has indicated to The New York Post that they were not responsible in any way for the requested additional payment to allow the auction winner to bring his children along. Speaking to a reporter, a spokesperson from the Foundation rejected the notion that they were behind the requested increase, and instead implicated CharityBuzz.
"Without our knowledge, the CharityBuzz staff decided to ask him if he would be interested in adding more people to the lunch for an additional donation. We don't know if they specified an amount," the spokesperson from the Clinton Foundation told the New York Post.
CharityBuzz CEO Coppy Holzman, however, seems to be telling a slightly different story. At a recent party for Hamptons Magazine, Holzman was overheard by numerous guests stating that the request for the doubled price tag came from the Clinton Foundation. CharityBuzz did not respond to requests from the New York Post for comments or clarification regarding the matter.