Hilary Swank was in some hot water this fall after she and actor Jean-Claude Van Damme attended a party for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. The problem? Kadyrov is accused of torture and murder by human rights groups, including the Human Rights Watch, which publicly slammed Swank and Van Damme for attending the event.
Swank opened up about the international incident to Jay Leno on the "Tonight Show" Friday, where she revealed that while she was invited to the event to promote peace in a war-torn Chechen city and thanked Kadyrov in front of the crowd, she had no idea who he was, or what he has been accused of doing.
"The thing is, human rights organizations had reached out to warn me before i went, but I did not get those warnings," Swank said, adding that she is now working with the Human Rights Watch.
"Shame on me," she said. "The bottom line is, I should know where I'm going and I should do better research."
Swank has stated that the money she received for the appearance will be donated to charity and issued an apology through The Associated Press.
"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."
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