Hilary Swank has expressed "deep regret" for attending the birthday concert of Chechen leader Romazan Kadyrov - an individual accused of torture, killings and abductions by human rights groups. The two-time Oscar winner claims she was unaware of the accusations and "would never have gone" had she been informed.
In statement to the Associated Press, Swank wrote, "I deeply regret attending this event. If I had a full understanding of what this event was apparently intended to be, I would never have gone" Swank was one of numerous celebrities, including Jean Claude Van Damme and violinist Vanessa Mae, to attend the birthday concert in Chechnya's capital of Grozny on 5th October 2011. Human Rights Watch criticised the trio for attending a show that, it claimed, "trivializes the suffering of countless victims of human rights abuses". While attending the concert, the Hollywood actress had spoken of the Chechen government's "passion to make peace and to make something beautiful". Kadyrov, a former separatist rebel who defected to the federal side at the start of the second Chechen war, is accused of numerous killings. Several of his critics and political rivals have been murdered in recent years - something he denies any involvement in.
Hilary Swank recently completed work on the light hearted romantic-comedy 'New Year's Eve', about several individuals whose lives intertwine on the last day of the year.