Nicole Kidman Throws $500K at Fighting Aussie Fires

Australian comedian's campaign tops $22M in 48 hours
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2020 8:44 AM CST
Nicole Kidman Throws $500K at Fighting Aussie Fires
A firefighter manages a controlled burn Sunday to help contain a larger fire near Falls Creek, Australia.   (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

A Facebook fundraiser to help firefighting efforts in Australia quickly topped $22 million on Sunday, with help from celebrities. Australian comedian Celeste Barber started the campaign, to benefit the Rural Fire Service in New South Wales, only 48 hours before. The athletes who have contributed include the No. 1 women's tennis player in the world, Ashleigh Barty, who said Sunday that she'll donate her winnings from a tournament that begins Monday in Brisbane, the Guardian reports. The top prize in the Brisbane International is $250,000; Barty has already given more than $30,000 to help wildlife recover and said she wanted to help families this time. Prompted by Australian player Nick Kyrgios, Tennis Australia announced an exhibition match will be held Jan. 15 to raise money.

Singer Pink had announced a $500,000 pledge, and Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban have now matched it. Their house in Australia is "under threat," a representative said, per People. At a Golden Globes event Saturday, Kidman told reporters, "I'm so sorry, I'm so distracted by what's happening in Australia." The actress announced the donation to Rural Fire Services, "who are all doing and giving so much right now," on Instagram. Support has built as Barber has posted updates on Twitter, including the danger her husband's family faces in Eden, a town on the New South Wales coast. (American firefighters are also helping.)

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