Jeffrey Katzenberg, KaDee Strickland and One Great Cause: RAINN


The invitation promised great cocktails, great conversation and one great cause, and on Sept. 15, event organizers made good on that promise at Soho House in West Hollywood. There, Jeffrey Katzenberg, KaDee Strickland and Berit Kyllo Francis introduced guests to RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. 

Katzenberg is CEO of DreamWorks Animation; Strickland, on TV’s “Private Practice,” and Berit Kyllo Francis, a rape survivor and board member of the Washington, D.C.-based organization working to prevent sexual violence, improve services to victims and bring rapists to justice. 

Strickland said she first learned about the group in researching her television role as an assault victim. “What I learned changed my life,” she said, choking up as she spoke into the microphone. “This changed my heart and it changed my consciousness and it opened my eyes to something that was an undeniable reality,” she continued. “What was clear to me was the necessity of RAINN.”

Berit Kyllo Francis then told guests about her brutal assault twenty years ago, her healing process and the help RAINN provided.

Marilyn Katzenberg expressed her admiration, saying, “It’s good she could rise above it and have a good life.”

It was also admirable to learn of the diligent police officer, Detective Larry Lindenau, who kept a DNA sample and called Francis 15 years later to tell her that the crime lab had found a match. Not only had the rapist been identified, but he could also be linked to multiple assaults.

As a result of Lindenau’s persistence, modern DNA technology and Francis’ testimony, among others, her attacker is now serving a life sentence.

The Katzenbergs, Strickland, Jason Behr of “Roswell” and “The Grudge,” Holly Robinson Peete, and Susanne and Gary Tobey served as event co-hosts, with guests also including Amy Brenneman of “Private Practice,” Emerald Munoz and Kenna, Annie and Tony Thomas, Ricki and Marvin Ring, Ellen Ziffren, Dick Wolf, Cliff Gilbert-Lurie, RAINN president Scott Berkowitz and others.

Photos, from top: from left: KaDee Strickland, Jason Behr and Berit Kyllo Francis; below, RAINN director Scott Berkowitz, left, with Jeffrey Katzenberg (all photos by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)



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Published Sept. 23, 2011 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA