Actress Salma Hayek was honored at last night’s 36th annual Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute awards gala.
“Every time you come to this city, it’s intense,” she said at the Washington Convention Center, shortly before the gala started.“”If you come when there’s a government shutdown, it’s even more intense.”
Hayek, joined by her father, Sami, and brother, Sami, Jr., was saluted for her humanitarian work on behalf of her fellow Mexicans at home and those who have immigrated here.
“We (Mexicans) have not come to this country to take. We have built this country in many ways,” she said.
“It’s a question of perception. A lot of people think that illegal immigrants are criminals. I wonder if they would be willing to pay for the price of the food if we all left. It’s very complicated.”
Hayek, married to French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, is raising their daughter, Valentina, in a trilingual household where French, English and Spanish are spoken.
Her father-in law, Francois Pinault, with a net worth estimated at $17.3 billion, is the 46th richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is the founder and controlling shareholder of luxury and sporting goods conglomerate Kering, an $8 billion a year company in 2012 which controls brands including Gucci, Yves St. Laurent and Puma. Her husband is the chief executive.
Earlier this week, she and her husband were in the front rows of Paris fashion week shows with Anna Wintour, Lenny Kravitz and Valerie Trierweiler. “She’s wonderful,” she said of the French first lady.
Hayek wore a Balenciaga gown to last night’s gala.
Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, Bloomberg’s arts and leisure section.