Los Angeles - Hilary Swank was paid a six-figure sum to attend an event celebrating the rebuilding of the downtown commercial hub of formerly war-torn Grozny and not the birthday party of Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, an individual close to the actress said.
The individual was speaking to TheWrap the day after it was revealed that Swank had fired her longtime manager and two agents in the wake of a PR disaster. It was widely reported last month that Swank attended a 35th-birthday celebration for Kadyrov's, despite advanced warnings from activists to her representatives about the controversial autocrat's sordid human rights record.
The Swank insider conceded that human rights groups contacted the actress' reps prior to the October 05, 2011 event. “They asked if she had plans to attend a birthday party. (The reps) said, 'Absolutely not - this is a real estate event for the new Grozny city.'''
The insider said Swank's reps circled back to the Turkish organisers of the event, who confirmed its grand-opening nature.
They apparently didn't brief Swank on the background of the region's political leaders, however.
“Then when she gets to Grozny, the event organisers were there, and they asked her if she would mind wishing the president of Chechyna a happy birthday,'' the individual said. ''She was like a deer in the headlights. She had no idea how bad a guy this was.
“At that point,'' the insider added, “all hell broke lose.''
Swank's birthday wishes to Kadyrov were caught on camera, were circulated globally on YouTube, and the Oscar-winning actress was fully rebuked, along with singer Seal and former action movie star Jean-Claude Van Damme, who were also at the event.
On Sunday, it was confirmed by TheWrap that Swank had fired her manager of eight years, Jason Weinberg, along with two members of her CAA team, Amie Yavor and Josh Lieberman.
With Swank's boyfriend, Jason Campisi, employed by CAA, it's believed that she will stick to the firm. - Reuters