Hilary Swank "Deeply Regrets" Attending Bash for Brutal Chechen Leader

Celebrity News Oct. 13, 2011 AT 10:23AM
Hilary Swank "Deeply Regrets" Attending Bash for Brutal Chechen Leader Credit: Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images

Swank sure is sorry.

Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank came under fire on Tuesday when it was revealed that she was among the attendees at a birthday concert on Oct. 5 for Ramzan Kadyrov, a Kremlin-backed Chechen leader accused of torture, abductions and murder by human rights groups.

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"I deeply regret attending this event," Swank, 37, said in a statement to The Associated Press on Thursday. "If I had a full understanding of what this event was apparently intended to be, I would never have gone."

The Boys Don't Cry wasn't the only celeb at Kadyrov's extravagant, 35th birthday bash in Grozny, the provincial capital of Chechyna; action movie legend Jean Claude Van Damme, violinist Vanessa Mae and a slew of Russian stars were also on hand. Van Damme and Mae have yet to address the scandal.

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During the elaborate party, Swank said she was inspired by the Chechen government's "passion to make peace and to make something beautiful."

A former separatist rebel, Kadyrov has bragged that he killed a Russian soldier at age 15; his many rivals and critics have been violently murdered and harassed throughout Europe over the past several years, though he has denied involvement.

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In her statement, Swank said she had no idea the over-the-top party was to be held in Kadyrov's honor.

Despite Swank's claims, the Human Rights Foundation told TheWrap.com that it sent a letter to the actress in September -- warning her of Kadyrov's alleged crimes.   Swank's rep allegedly replied back, explaining she didn't plan to attend the bash.

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