Bill Clinton Makes First Appearance Since Hillary Clinton Concession at the 'Lion' Premiere in N.Y.C.

Photo: Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

Former President Bill Clinton made a surprise appearance at the New York City premiere of the film Lion on Wednesday night without wife Hillary Clinton.

The 70-year-old arrived as the guest of heavyweight Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who introduced Clinton to those in attendance, calling him “my friend.”

“Last Tuesday, we suffered a nightmare as a country,” the Oscar winner said. “I’ve seen…the hate crimes, and the prejudice against women…and the progress people made on climate control, all of that starting to be peeled away.”

“But, as long as my friend is here with me, and with the American people, then I don’t think we’re gonna have to worry,” he continued, adding “We’re gonna have to fight, but at least we’ve got someone who is an inspiration.”

Clinton didn’t make a speech, but received a standing ovation as he stood up and waved to those in the room.

After Weinstein’s speech, he introduced the former president to the cast and crew of the film before the screening. Clinton shook everyone’s hand, including Sunny Pawar, who plays the younger version of Dev Patel‘s character.

As the film began, Clinton sat between Weinstein and his wife, Georgina Chapman, and praised the film—about an Indian-born adoptee’s quest to find his birth family—at its end.

The screening was a respite from the election aftermath for Clinton, whose wife suffered a crushing defeat in the presidential election on Nov. 8. Hillary did not accompany Bill, as she made an emotional first public appearance at a Children’s Defense Fund event held in her honor in Washington, D.C.

“I know this isn’t easy. I know that over the past week, a lot of people have asked themselves whether America is the country they thought it was,” she said, adding “Listen to me when I say this: America is worth it. Our children are worth it. Never, ever give up.”

“I may be older now, I’ve seen my share of ups and downs, but I still believe we can make the impossible possible,” she continued. “America is still the greatest country in the world.”

— Reporting by Maggie Parker

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