The Duchess of York last night brushed aside the humiliation of being caught offering an undercover reporter access to her ex-husband Prince Andrew for cash, to attend the Variety International Awards where she received the Catherine Variety Sheridan Award.
The award recognised Sarah Ferguson’s philanthropic achievements, primarily with underprivileged and disabled children.
Earlier in the day a film was released showing Ferguson offering an undercover reporter from the News of the World access to her former husband and to his connections in return for £500,000. The film showed the mother of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie receiving $40,000 in cash as a deposit and stating: "Look after me and he'll look after you… you'll get it back tenfold. I can open any door you want."
Reportedly stating on accepting her award that she had “had a heavy day” the Duchess braved the awards crowd to receive the Catherine Variety Sheridan Award for her charity work. The Duchess founded UK registered charity Children in Crisis in 1993 and in 2006 established the Sarah Ferguson Foundation providing support to children and family charities internationally.
"Children in Crisis was founded in 1993 by tonight’s honoree," said the Variety Awards host.
"The charity has donated £18.5m pounds to international projects, trained 16,000 teachers and supported the education of one million children.
"This year’s recipient has worked tirelessly in support of children in the most desperate of circumstances as they battle to survive in countries ravaged by war and famine.
"Variety, the Children’s Charity, is proud to honour for her work with Children in Crisis, Sarah, the Duchess of York."
The Variety International awards were held at the glitzy Renaissance Hollywood Hotel and Spa in line with Variety the Children’s Charity’s connection to the show business world, having been set up after an abandoned child, Catherine, was famously left to the care of 11 entertainment bosses in 1928. The story inspired the entertainment industry to provide for other underprivileged children and Variety the Children’s Charity was born.
As well as the Catherine Variety Sheridan Award, nine other awards are issued annually. Simon Cowell received the Humanitarian Award for raising "hundreds of millions of dollars" for many charities throughout the years.