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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Hilary Swank scandal

I missed this story completely this fall when it happened. She says she didn't know that the event was a birthday party for a Chechen political figure with a less-than-stellar reputation, but the fact that her PR firm and management team quit after the kerfluffle makes that hard to swallow.  The stories I read about this suggest that stars are lured to these events by really big money and may not care that much what's involved.

Hilary Swank has already paid a public price for appearing at a Chechen gala — for a fee — that ended up celebrating the birthday of Ramzan Kadyrov, the Kremlin-back president who’s been suspected of human-rights violations. She subsequently parted ways with her management and publicity teams after her appearance became public, and Swank offered a public mea culpa on The Tonight Show

In the most recent issue of Gotham magazine, Swank opted to tell her side of the story to actress and guest-journalist Mariska Hargitay.

MARISKA HARGITAY: I want to ask you about something more serious concerning your travels. Much has been said about your recent trip to Chechnya. Can you share what happened?

HILARY SWANK: Invitations to make appearances come up all the time. In this case, a Turkish real estate company invited me to help promote peace by celebrating the rebuilding of a war-torn city and meeting people who were rebuilding their lives. That’s how it was presented to me, and I thought, Absolutely, yes. When I was there, I was asked to wish the president a happy birthday, and I did. Shame on me for not having researched the trip more fully, but I didn’t know President Kadyrov’s record. Human rights organizations had tried to warn me, but those warnings weren’t shared with me. The things that have been written about me in the press are totally contradictory to who I am. It’s on me for having gone, and I regret it. Believe me, I’m never again accepting an invitation before I have all the information I need.



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