Talk about backtracking: after the Human Rights Watch publicly criticized Hilary Swank for appearing at the birthday party for notorious Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, the two-time Oscar winner actress has been doing serious damage control. The October 5th event was the glittering 35th birthday celebration of the Kremilin-supported leader, who has been accused by the organization of militant rule, torture, murder and other "crimes against humanity."
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, the Human Rights Watch pointed to other celebrities who had in the past supported controversial political figures before singling out Swank and co-attendees Jean-Claude Van Damme, Seal and violinist Vanessa Mae, who attended the event in exchange for a rumored several hundred thousand dollars.
“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.)"
So what's a girl to do? First, Swank issued an apology Thursday morning, saying: "I deeply regret attending this event, which has thrown into question my long and deeply-held commitment to the protection of human rights... If I had a full understanding of what this event was apparently intended to be, I would never have gone."
Now it's looking like Swank will follow in the footsteps of other-disgraced-stars Beyoncé and Mariah Carey. Swank's publicist told Entertainment Weekly later Thursday afternoon that the actress will further donate her earnings to “to various charitable organizations."
An obvious place to start might be the Human Rights Watch.