The event was held at a private estate in Brentwood, California, and raised $1 million for Kennedy’s campaign and $1.2 million for a super PAC supporting him, according to the statement released Tuesday.
Clapton performed live at the event, which included tickets starting at $3,300, up to a maximum contribution of $6,600.
“We expect supporters from across the U.S. to fly in for the evening,” Kennedy’s website noted prior to the event. High-end donors reportedly enjoyed an exclusive reception before Kennedy delivered remarks, followed by Clapton taking the stage.
Neither the location of the fundraiser nor the special guest came as a surprise: Kennedy, married to Curb Your Enthusiasm actress Cheryl Hines, has already made inroads with the Hollywood set, picking up endorsements from Woody Harrelson and Alicia Silverstone. Clapton, meanwhile, is one of the few anti-vax celebrities on par with Kennedy himself, having devoted the the past few years to writing songs condemning the Covid-19 vaccines, funding anti-vax propaganda and even comparing pandemic lockdowns to slavery.
In 2021, RFK Jr. interviewed Clapton for The Defender Show, a program produced by Children’s Health Defense. (Kennedy chairs this activist nonprofit, which is known for disseminating vaccine misinformation). In that conversation, the pair discussed their mutual grudge against Rolling Stone — Clapton due to unfavorable coverage of his music and statements raging against health mandates, which he referred to as a “slur campaign,” and Kennedy because the magazine retracted a 2005 piece he authored on vaccines that proved to be inaccurate.
Both Clapton and Kennedy have remained outspoken vaccine skeptics and dabbled in conspiracy theories around Covid. Clapton, who claims to have suffered adverse effects from the AstraZeneca vaccine, baselessly suggested last year that he and many others were subliminally hypnotized into receiving the jab. Kennedy faced backlash this past July for asserting without evidence that Covid is an “ethnically targeted” bioweapon that disproportionately attacks Blacks and Caucasians while sparing Chinese people and Ashkenazi Jews.
Presumably, though, none of this bothered deep-pocketed L.A. donors nostalgic for the Kennedy dynasty and 1960s rock and blues. Too bad they paid top dollar to hear Clapton play his new stuff.
Correction: This article previously stated that RFK Jr. is chair of the Children’s Defense Fund. He is chair of Children’s Health Defense. Children’s Defense Fund is a different nonprofit with no connection to RFK Jr. or Eric Clapton.
This article was updated at 8:32 p.m. E.T. on Sept. 19 to include the amount raised at Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s private fundraiser in Brentwood, CA.