Turns out even hard-boiled Chechen presidents like their photo ops with movie stars, but it doesn’t always work the other way around. Actress Hilary Swank just learned the hard way that she should pick her celebrity endorsements, not to mention her management team, a little more carefully after making a cameo appearance at the 35th birthday party for Chechnya’s current leader, President Ramzan Kadyrov, earlier this month.

Somewhere in the sequence of events between her paid attendance at “King Ramzan’s” birthday bash Oct. 5 and the firing of key members of her inner professional circle by month’s end, Swank caught wind of Kadyrov’s reputation — more specifically, allegations of torture and other human rights abuses and implications of his involvement in the death of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2006.

By Monday, Swank had cut longtime manager Jason Weinberg and at least two other handlers loose and also pledged to part with the cash. –KA


It comes after human rights groups criticised the star for being paid to attend the event.

Swank later apologised, saying she was unaware Kadyrov has been accused of abusing his opponents.

The actress, 37, also promised to distribute her reported six-figure attendance fee to “various charitable organisations”.

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