Party first, think later? It may work for the Parises and Lindsays of the world, but it just didn’t become Hilary Swank.
Which explains why there was such a sharp and visceral backlash against the actress after it emerged this week that she had happily attended the birthday concert celebration of Chechen President Ramzan Kaydrov, who never met a human right he couldn’t violate.
Well, good news. The double Oscar winner has finally realized the error of her ways and has offered up a mea culpa for her unseemly RSVP…
“I deeply regret attending this event, which has thrown into question my long and deeply-held commitment to the protection of human rights,” she said in a statement released this morning.
“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.”
What the Oct. 5 event was intended to be was a lavish concert in Chechnya’s capital of Grozny which served as a well-attended congratulatory session for Kadyrov as musicians and celebrities, like Swank, poured onto the stage to offer praise for the leader accused of routine house-torching, killing and making his critics disappear.
That this massive party was held while his country toes the poverty line and faces massive unemployment didn’t help his cause, and the Human Rights Watch quickly jumped on Swank—along with Jean-Claude Van Damme and Vanessa Mae—for attending.
For her part, during the concert, Swank praised the government’s “passion to make peace and to make something beautiful.”
by GINA SERPE