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Friday
Oct142011

Hilary Swank 'Deeply Regrets' Attending Chechen President's Party

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty ImagesHilary Swank has released a statement after being criticized for attending of the birthday party of controversial Chechen Republic President Ramzan Kadyrov.  Kadyrov's human rights abuses, including torture have been documented by various human rights groups.

Swank wrote, "I deeply regret attending this event, which has thrown into question my long and deeply-held commitment to the protection of human rights.  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."

Swank's rep explains in a separate statement that the actress was in Grozny City on October 5 to attend the opening of a new residential and commercial complex in southern Russia.  The project was billed as "a symbol of hope for the people of Chechnya," a war-torn region.  At the event, Swank was invited to wish the President a happy birthday, along with other celebrities like Jean Claude Van Damme.  Swank said she was was unaware, at that time, of the allegations against President Kadyrov. Swank added, "If I had a full understanding of what this event was apparently intended to be, I would never have gone."

Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank will be donating money she was paid to attend a lavish party thrown by the president of Chechnya, the man accused of committing crimes against humanity including torture, a representative for the star said Friday.

Swank's representative did not say how much Swank was paid to attend the Oct. 5 event, but told ABC News the actress will be donating "her personal appearance fees from this event to various charitable organizations."

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