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Rich Brits Drop Pounds to Save Child

5/14/2007 12:24 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Some of England's wealthiest celebs are shelling out a fortune to help fund the search for a 4-year-old British girl who has gone missing in Portugal. This gives new meaning to the term "giving back."
JK Rowling, Richard Branson, Simon Cowell
Harry Potter authoress J.K. Rowling, Virgin titan Sir Richard Branson and "Idol" judge Simon Cowell have all ponied up to help find Madeleine McCann, who has been missing since May 2. According to the News of the World, Rowling donated in excess of $495,000, while Branson and Cowell chipped in $198,000 and $99,000, respectively.

Rowling's fortune has been estimated at $1 billion, Branson's at a megastore $7 billion, while Simon's said to be worth about $85 million ... slightly more than "Idol" raised in the recent "Idol Gives Back" event.


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well im a gal from south africa where crime is at its utmost and i think that some of these comments are really uncalled for but yes i do agree that it was kinda silly for thew parents to hae left the kids in the room alone, but really now some of u say that it was a set up y would some 1 want to set some thing like this up, i think that the parents where uneasy about leaving the kids there alone but maybe knew that they did it b4 and nothing really happen that y the mom probably went to just check on them every 30 mins, i think ppl should be ready to blame ne1 eps the parents for it, ppl should be there to be confident and help them see the light at the end of this really long dark tunnel and hope the come out of it with their little gal in the arms and in thier heart and paryer are out there

2669 days ago


I have read all of this and more and cannot shake the feeling that all is not what it seems, something is very very wrong with this story.Aside from any cretin stealing a child, how long does it take for a little one to wake, play with the electrical fittings, turn on water in the bathroom and drown, or simply have a coughing fit and choke??? I do not doubt the pain of those who love this little girl, but I cannot defend gross negligence by people who could well afford a paid nanny to travel with them, who looks after the children when both doctors are working??? , Better still if they want to go off by themselves why not have left the children in England with relatives? My greatest compassion is for a little girl let down by the people she trusted most.

2673 days ago


why do they care, and who is this kid to them that they would donate so much?

something fishy going down?

2688 days ago

jProud American Author    

I hope that the little girl is found. There are so many children missing or hungry. Why this little girl? Do celebrity's do things because they really care or because they want us to think that they do? Makes me wonder...

2688 days ago

Tired and Ready for A Nap    

The little girl was kidnapped from her families hotel in Portugal over a week ago and has not been found. I believe her 4th birthday was this past weekend. it's a very sad story. Google The Daily Mail in England to read up on the story. I think it's very good of these three people to come forward with the reward. It seems the police in Portugal are doing little to help find this child.

2688 days ago


Who cares why they did it? Has anyone ever heard the saying don't look a gift horse in the mouth? I sure hope they find that little girl. And for once people on this sight would do something nice like pray for her that she is returned safely to he parents.
I think alot of positive energy would do good

2688 days ago


The little girl is called Madeleine Mccann, she was snatched from her apartment in Portugals Praia de Luz the saturday before last, where her parents left her, aged 3 and her twin brother &sister aged 2 in bed whilst they went to a restaurant for dinner, they were apparently checking on them every 30 mins when the mum went back and realsied maddy had been taken, although had these parents been on state benefits and not Drs, as they are, they would have been slaughtered by the press but they haven't was irresponsible of the parents to leave these children for a variety of reasons!

The "reward" was started by a National paper, The News of The World, they put up £1 million, and everyone else continued to donate.

The police in Portugal have NO evidence at all but the parents are refusing to fly back to England without Maddy.

I hope she's found safe and well and when she is the parents are prosecuted!

2688 days ago


These two dolts went for dinner leaving their little daughter ALONE - ALL BY HERSELF while they went and fed their faces. This would be child endangerment, or child abandonment depending on which country you're in.

You DON'T leave children under 12 all alone. How damn stupid are these people? Didn't either one of the have a hint, inkling or clue of how much trouble or danger a toddler could get into if left to their own devices?

And now the girl is missing, I hope she comes out of this alive - but her parents should go to jail and lose custody of her over this. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I saw the mother in an interview and she didn't look to broken up about this. As cops would say 'nearest and dearest'.

2688 days ago


Sorry to be a critic, but with all this coverage on this case I have not yet heard a report that asked the parents why on earth they thought they could go out to dinner and leave their children unattended?!?!? Or, am I missing something and parents are only held responsible in the US. I am sorry their child is missing and I would not wish it on anyone, but of all the missing kids for celebritiies to reach out to it is the wealthy irresponsible family who is reaping the reward of the constant public eye. How about you donate your money and put the poor, black kid from a "low class" neighbor hood in the headlines. Maddy will make it there by herself due to her parents failure to put there wants aside and be parents,

2688 days ago


I hope the donations help, she is such a cute little thing. Good for these celebrities. It's nice to finally see some generosity.

2688 days ago


Fascinating post by UK Chick!

Smart enough to be doctors yet they leave their children alone, no nanny, no babysitter, no guardians, no overseer, nothing while they feed their faces off. Only Mommy returns to check on the kids? And only every half hour? What was the total length of time these two dolts were eating. The term 'checking ever half hour suggests a minimum of one hour with two checks okay and the third check 'discovers' Maddy's gone. Total time? An hour and a half.

Even if one of the parents thought it okay to leave the kids home alone, the other parent should have had enough intelligence to insist the kids have a babysitter, or go with the parents for dinner, or have dinner delivered to their rooms, or or or....

Neither look too worked up about it and yet they refuse to return to England. Wonder why that is.

This sounds like a set up, planned from the beginning and now they're in a new country to start all over again.

WHY was only Maddy taken? 3 kids. Babies can't talk. Was Maddy being molested by someone in her family? Is that why she was taken and not the others?

Too many things are amiss. Too many pieces missing. Those two need to have a polygraph test. Although the test might not be admissible in Court, they do point to state of mind, and indicate deception.

2688 days ago


I am totally touched by this! What an incredible reaction to this horrible story, on behalf of these people! In American, to my utter horror, our missing children, might get a $20,000 offer on reward! With all of our wealth here, this should embarrass this nation. Even though most of us are not as advantaged financially as these celebs, what would happen if we all contributed something when a precious child is lost? Thank you... to all of you who opened your bank accounts and our eyes. Perhaps you have set a marvelous precedent! Let's wake up America!!!!!!!

2688 days ago

Tired and Ready for A Nap    

but wait ... there's more. The parents are both doctors, I believe. They were traveling with some other docs and their families. These parents would go out to eat nightly --- and leave their kids - with someone going to check on them every 30 minutes. The mother told a reporter last week that they didn't want to leave their children with a stranger.! Don't even get me started on that one. God, I hope they find this child.

2688 days ago


I hope they find her because that is horrible for any parent to go through. HOWEVER, these parents are stupid for leaving them alone.

2688 days ago


WOW- What a bunch of harsh comments... Although I do agree that it was a HUGE mistake for Gerry and Kate to leave their children for any amnt. of time- do you all not think that they are beating themselves up over that day in and day out? All one has to do is look at their faces to know what kind of anguish and hell they are in... let's blame the true culprit- the evil person(s) who thought it was OK to steal away a precious child from her loving and caring family... Can anyone really clearly imagine what Maddy is going through? I for one, cannot and if I (a stranger) am unwilling to "go there" imagine what her parents' are feeling and going through... let's not play the blame game and show a bit of compassion for this family who are going through the most unimaginable pain that any parent can experience... I pray for Maddy's safe return to her loving family... as her parents' have said- anything else is unquestionable! PRAY FOR MADDY!! I applaud these "celebs" contributing to this fund/reward... if the reward continues to climb- maybe that is what it will take for someone with information to come forward and secure Madeleine's safe return- that is what is most important... finding and safely returning this angel to her grieving family...

2688 days ago
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