Van Damme, Hilary Swank criticized for attending Chechen leader's party
October 11th, 2011
05:07 PM ET

Van Damme, Hilary Swank criticized for attending Chechen leader's party

Celebrities admitted to being paid to perform for members of Moammar Gadhafi's family this spring, and according to the Hollywood Reporter, history may be repeating itself.

Human Rights Watch is criticizing stars including Jean-Claude Van Damme and Hilary Swank for allegedly attending Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s lavish October 5 birthday celebration in exchange for money.

“We must remember the disgrace Mariah Carey, Nelly Furtado, Beyoncé and 50 Cent were exposed to after singing for the Gadhafi family and earning millions of dollars for it,” said Thor Halvorssen, president of the Human Rights Foundation. (Beyoncé and Mariah Carey donated their Gadhafi money to charity.)

In a statement to THR, Human Rights Watch asked stars who went to Kadyrov’s 35th birthday party to return any money that they were paid to attend.

"Ramzan Kadyrov is linked to a litany of horrific human rights abuses. It's inappropriate for stars to get paid to party with him,” reads the statement. The Human Rights Foundation claims they warned Swank not to attend the event, and that the actress initially said she had declined the invitation.

Halvorssen called the stars’ attendance at Kadyrov’s party “disheartening and shameful.”

Shakira, Eva Mendes and Kevin Costner were also invited, but R.S.V.P.’d “no.” Costner and Mendes cited scheduling conflicts.

According to the Human Rights Foundation, Van Damme stood on stage and proclaimed, “I love you Mr. Kadyrov.” Swank reportedly wished Kadyrov a “Happy Birthday” and said she was honored to be in the city of Grozny.

The gathering was held on a floating stage on the River Sunzha and featured fireworks, numerous portraits of Kadyrov, acrobatic performances and music from British violinist Vanessa-Mae (who was reportedly paid half a million dollars).

soundoff (15 Responses)
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  3. achilletalon

    They went there for money.
    How much money will that cost them in term of reduced wage from the next films because of reduced goodwill?
    Even on a pure money point of view, this is not a brilliant idea.

    October 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. art vandolay

    Claude and Hillary are the "best" this guy could get? He really must be a loser. He should have invited William Shatner–he never turns down a showing. -Art

    October 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. michaelfury

    October 12, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. logical

    it would be a big issue if they went there for nothing, because they liked the guy. That isnt the case. Although many people everyday support billigerent, mean people without getting paid for it. Focusing on this practise in ways average people cant relate to is dumb. The school bully doesnt even have pay his posse.

    October 12, 2011 at 2:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. rub

    I'll never get that 5 mins back!!


    October 12, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. sreylu

    oh well!! their celebrities. thats what they do for a living thats how they make their money!

    October 11, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. herb

    And in other Hollywood news, Martin Sheen wanted to star in a remake of "Make Room for Daddy," but Charlie told Martin the bedrooms in his home were already in use.

    October 11, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. twisted

    O yeah, I forgot about the Van D guy, now who is he??? a ya a wife beater...whoopsy!

    October 11, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. twisted

    Just another Hollywood Hypocrite that sold their soul....not new news, just another fame-has-gone-to-our-heads fatality.
    Plus her movies are all boring..............

    October 11, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. They only...

    ...gave the money to charity after they got exposed. They'd have spent it on h00kers and blow if no one had found out.

    Van damme really sold out on this one, yipes. Although I think he'd already sold his soul to have a career in the first place.

    October 11, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Laura

    Some people will sell their souls for money!!!

    October 11, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. @ I'll bet...

    Well it disgusts me enough to know that celebrities will attend functions of controversial people just as a means to donate money to their charity... it wasn't a bad idea but it was the wrong venue to do it in.

    October 11, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. I'll bet... one in here even knows why they should be disgusted by this. Kadyrov is going to be a big problem for everyone if he ever gets off Putins leash.

    October 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |

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