Oscar-wining actress Hilary Swank, ridiculed for accepting a six-figure fee to glam up a birthday party for brutal Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov, is firing back–at her handlers.
Swank caused an uproar among human rights organizations for attending Kadyrov’s 35th birthday party, Oct. 5.
To make matters worse, Swank gave Kadyrov his money’s worth.
“I could feel the spirit of the people, and I could see that everyone was so happy,” she said at the party. “Happy birthday, Mr President!”.
Then, she added about the country: “I read. I do my research.”
Apparently she overlooked reports that Kadyrov is widely accused of torturing dissidents, assassinating political opponents and encouraging citizens to abuse women who dress immodestly.
Actor Jean Claude Van Damme, UK singer Seal and British violinist Vanessa Mae also accepted appearance fees to attend, and also drew heat from groups like the Human Rights Foundation.
A Foundation spokesperson said they warned Swank’s handlers ten days before the party, but her manager blew off the group.
Although Swank is described as a “Hollywood liberal,” she’s not particularly known for being outspoken on global human rights or political issues.
Nonetheless, she was deeply embarrassed by her appearance.
“I deeply regret attending this event,” Swank said amid the media storm. “If I had a full understanding of what this event apparently intended to be, I would never have gone.”
Now in a further backlash, Swank has fired her agent of eight years Jason Weinberg, apparently blaming him for her lack of understanding, according to the UK’s Independent newspaper, which broke the story.
Swank also fired her CAA agents Amie Yavor and Josh Lieberman, but is not leaving the agency, where here boyfriend, John Campisi, works.
She also blames CAA’s Lauren Hale, who traveled to Chechnya with her, for failing to warn her before attending the party, the paper said. But her fate is unknown.
”There’s a world of s–t going down at CAA over it…,” DeadlineHollywood reported.
“Hilary values her liberal credentials and is close to Michelle Obama. She’s really upset by what happened,” a source told the Independent.
“It’s partly her fault. But what can she do? She can hardly fire herself.”