Hilary Swank and Jean-Claude Van Damme were two actors in attendance at Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov's 35th birthday party on October 5, but Swank says in a statement to CNN that she had no idea that's what she was attending.
Both the actress and Van Damme were criticized by human rights organizations for celebrating with Kadyrov, and asked to return any money or gifts they may have received.
However, a statement from Swank's publicist says that she wasn't there to attend a fete for the Chechen president but rather an "opening of a new residential and commercial complex in Grozny City, including the largest sports complex in southern Russia." The deciding factor for her to go was that the event "was described to her as a symbol of hope for the people of Chechnya," and that was a sentiment she wanted to support.
The statement goes on to say that when she got there, she was asked to wish Kadyrov happy birthday, which the statement says she did because she didn't want to be rude.
The Human Rights Watch said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter earlier this week that they warned Swank not to attend this event, claiming that "Kadyrov is linked to a litany of horrific human rights abuses" and that it's "inappropriate for stars to get paid to party with him."
Her publicist, however, says that Swank was unaware of the allegations against Kadyrov, and that she's never met him.
"I deeply regret attending this event, which has thrown into question my long and deeply-held commitment to the protection of human rights," Swank says in the statement. "I would never intentionally do anything that raised doubts about such commitment. I will continue to donate my time and my financial resources not only to the charities with which I am currently affiliated, but also those dedicated to the preservation of human rights. If I had a full understanding of what this event was apparently intended to be, I would never have gone.”
The very second she saw that she was sitting next to Van Damme – she should have known something bad was going to happen.
These folks pay people to keep them informed and look out for them. I'm not surprised she didn't know. Whoever she is paying will be looking for a job soon. Perhaps one of you could apply since you are so good with Google?
Her only regret should be not running in the Triple Crown, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Yeah right! She could have goggle it!
Jean-Claude is looking at that guy like "Dude, you better not be farting right now."
And where's the heat on JCVD for this? Not that I give two rats asses about any of it...hollywood stars are no more important in eradicating human rights problems than a baby...leave it alone.
This is a "hollywood" issue for "hollywood" news.
Missy I troll u cuz I luv u I am a psyco perv
Omg, look at the Van Dame he looks so old
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Happy Birthday? Not one person in the entire photo is smiling. What does that tell you?
That's her story & she's sticking to it! It was pretty lame, though! I think I'd fire my staff for not investigating the event.
JCVD looks like he just wants to hit that guy. lOl
So she goes around the world for apartment building openings now? Must be slow acting time of yeart for ol Hillary. -Art
Couldn't she have just looked Kadyrov up in the Wikipedia?
Everyone knows that Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information on Eastern European dictators. For all we know Bashar Al Assad could be changing the Wiki for Nicolae Ceaușescu, and then what?
I woulda went too. A million dollars is pretty good money. Think of all the stuff you could get off the dollar menu.
I'm not real good at math, but I think that's like over 1000 items. Not bad...
A Hollywood celebrity doing something stupid!!! I'm shocked.
She knew what she was doing and she got paid a million to do it. She is too smart to go to another country without knowing everything about. Not buying it.
Yup, why didn't she Google the guy?! I mean, c'mon!
Is she still beating up her girlfriends?
firsty. sooo firsty.
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