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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

LVMH Urges Sharon Stone to Clarify China Quake Remark

June 1, 2008

By Fergus Maguire
Bloomberg
Enlarge Image/Details

May 29 (Bloomberg) -- LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, the
world's largest luxury-goods maker, urged its model Sharon Stone to
clarify remarks suggesting a May 12 earthquake may have been "karma"
for China's policies on Tibet.

"If there is a possibility of putting things in the right
perspective, coming from the heart, I think that is the best thing to
do,'' Group Managing Director Antonio Belloni said at a luxury-goods
conference in Tokyo today. The comments from Stone, who appears in
advertisements for LVMH's Christian Dior cosmetics and perfumes, were
"unfortunate," he added.

"If she doesn't agree, I think we have to acknowledge she doesn't
agree and detach us from her," Belloni said. Stone has apologized,
Xinhua News Agency reported.

The 50-year-old actress's comments about China's deadliest earthquake
in 32 years are the latest setback for Paris-based LVMH as it seeks
to expand sales in the world's fastest-growing major economy. It
follows calls last month on Chinese Internet blogs for boycotts of
products made by French companies to protest disruptions to the
Olympic torch relay in Paris.

Christian Dior SA owns a controlling stake in LVMH as well as the
fashion house Christian Dior Couture, which uses Stone for
advertisements. LVMH is removing Chinese advertisements featuring the
actress's image, company spokesman Olivier Labesse said in a
telephone interview from Paris.

UNDERSTANDING AND FRIENDSHIP

"I have noted her remarks and I've noticed that today she has
apologized through her agent," Qin Gang, China's foreign ministry
spokesman, said at a briefing in Beijing today. "Artists should do
more to help improve mutual understanding and friendship between countries.''

"I hope that the earthquake relief efforts by the Chinese people and
the government can be fully understood and supported by the
international community," Qin said.

Stone said she felt "deeply sorry for my inappropriate words and
acts, which have hurt the Chinese people's feelings," Xinhua, China's
state-run news agency, reported, citing the Chinese text of an
apology sent from Dior's Shanghai branch.

The actress expressed her "deepest condolences and sympathy to the
victims of the quake" and said she was willing to participate in the
efforts to help them, a separate, Chinese- language Xinhua report said.

Lucy Xu, a Dior spokeswoman in Asia, didn't respond to e- mailed
messages today. Dior officials in Hong Kong were unavailable for comment.

MOVIES BANNED

"We detach ourselves from Sharon Stone's remarks," Labesse said. "We
deeply sympathize with the pain of the earthquake's victims and their
families.''

The owner of a cinema chain in Hong Kong and mainland China said her
movies would be banned from its outlets, Xinhua reported, citing the
Beijing Times. The actress has appeared in films from Woody Allen's
``Stardust Memories'' to ``Total Recall.''

Stone, in a recording posted on YouTube of comments made at the
Cannes film festival, said: ``And then all this earthquake and all
this stuff happened, and I thought, is that karma --when you're not
nice that the bad things happen to you?''

The death toll from the May 12 earthquake has reached 68,109 people
with 19,851 missing, State Council Information Office spokesman Lu
Guangjin said yesterday. China yesterday began evacuating 80,000
people threatened by floods in Sichuan province as two aftershocks
struck the region.

To contact the reporter on the story: Fergus Maguire in Tokyo at
fmaguire@bloomberg.net
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