Hilary Swank “deeply regrets” attending Chechen leader’s birthday party

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At the beginning of the week, I saw that some major news outlets were reporting that Hilary Swank and Jean Claude Can Damme had done a bad, bad thing. They were invited to a public (televised) birthday party for a Chechen leader named Ramzan Kadyrov in Grozny. As it turns out, Kadyrov is a something of an infamous genocidal bastard, and human rights groups were really pissed off that celebrities were flown in to give the dude legitimacy. I didn’t write about it earlier because… it’s Hilary Swank. I didn’t think people would care what she did, and in her (sort of) defense, I think it’s pretty likely she was just offered a million-dollar check and a private plane to come to the event, and she had no idea who this guy was, or why she should have refused. Anyway, she’s apologizing:

Hollywood celebrity Hilary Swank said she “deeply regrets” visiting a concert held on the birthday of the Kremlin-backed Chechen leader, who is accused of torture, abductions and killings by human rights groups.

The two-time Oscar winner said that she was unaware of the disappearances, house torchings and extra-judicial killings reportedly orchestrated by Ramzan Kadyrov in the southern Russian republic.

“I deeply regret attending this event,” Swank said in a written message to The Associated Press. “If I had a full understanding of what this event was apparently intended to be, I would never have gone.”

Swank issued the message after the Human Rights Watch criticized her — along with Belgian actor Jean Claude Van Damme and British violinist Vanessa Mae — for attending a show that, it says, “trivializes the suffering of countless victims of human rights abuses.”

On Kadyrov’s 35th birthday on Oct. 5, his government organized a lavish concert in Chechnya’s provincial capital, Grozny, that has been restored after being flattened during two wars between Chechen separatists and Moscow since 1994.

The celebrities — as well as dozens of Russian politicians and pop stars — showed up to congratulate Kadyrov from a stage arranged between a gigantic mosque and a newly built business center.

During the birthday show, Swank said that she had been taken by the Chechen government’s “passion to make peace and to make something beautiful.” She claimed in her apology that her invitation to the concert made no mention of Kadyrov’s birthday.

Under Kadyrov’s leadership, Chechnya has become relatively quiet, and the insurgent violence has largely migrated to neighboring republics of the volatile Caucasus region. Kadyrov is a former separatist rebel who has boasted of killing his first Russian soldier at age 15. He went over to the federal side at the start of the second Chechen war in 1999. A string of Kadyrov’s critics and political rivals have been brutally murdered in recent years in Russia, Austria and Dubai.

Kadyrov has consistently denied involvement in any of the killings, saying the accusations are fabricated to blacken his name.

[From The Associated Press]

“If I had a full understanding of what this event was apparently intended to be, I would never have gone” = They gave me a lot of money to show up and I didn’t want to ask questions, and I figured no one would notice. I mean… I buy her apology, I buy that she regrets it, and she probably hates whoever talked her into it. BUT! I would like to know how much she was paid to show up at the event, and if she also “deeply regrets” taking the money, or if she plans to return the money.

Here’s some video of Hilary on stage wishing Kadyrov a happy birthday:

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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85 Responses to “Hilary Swank “deeply regrets” attending Chechen leader’s birthday party”

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  1. caitlinsmommy says:

    if she is so sorry, she should return the money. Otherwise, she’s just a hypocrite. I do think that she’s about as dumb as a box of rocks, though, so I’m not surprised that she attended the event in the first place.

  2. mln76 says:

    NOPE she’s full of crap.

    Human Rights Watch released a statement on last Wednesday’s event, in which they say they had warned Swank about Kadryov’s activities, and she had initially told them she had declined the invitation
    http://gawker.com/5848932/hilary-swank-wishes-chechnyas-war-criminal-president-a-very-happy-birthday

  3. Happymom says:

    This reminds me of all the A list celebrities (Mariah, Lionel Ritchie, Beyonce) who were flown to the Gaddafi’s parties to entertain. Of course they’re making a ton of money for this-but it’s blood money. In this day and age (hello Google) they should check out these people who are hiring them. And it’s not like these celebs don’t have staff who wouldn’t fully check out where they’re going and for whom. It’s disgusting.

  4. cr says:

    How hard would it have been to do five minutes of research on the man?

  5. podzol says:

    There is one thing that confounds me. If I get offered a million dollar check to attend the private party of an individual whose existence I complete ignore… I would at the VERY LEAST google up his name to give me polite cocktail chitchat pointers. Plus, it would eliminate chances to to read the next day’s headlines “Mrs. X ATTENDS RUSSIAN MOBSTER’S BUNGA BUNGA”. Uncomfortable!
    Hilary you need to fire whoever organizes your social calendar. I’m sure it’s already done.

  6. tracking says:

    How hard would it have been to do a little homework? I don’t buy she’s really sorry just that she was called out.

  7. Linnie says:

    She was offered a lot of money to go to a party being held for a leader that practiced genocide. That’s called prostitution. Here’s a link to the definition just in case some people think prostitution only describes sexual solicitation.
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/prostitute

    I don’t care how sorry she, or anyone else that attended the party, feels. Taking responsibility for your actions after the fact, means you were stupid before the fact. You can’t undo stupid.

  8. Jackie says:

    shameful. how much money does she really need??

  9. po says:

    Wow, u mean u get invited out of the country to attend an invent and u don’t bother to find out what its for. Sounds like the beginning of a bad lifetime movie where Tori Spelling ends up in a prostitution ring. Id prefer this seemingly intelligent women just admit that she doesnt keep up with world politics and just showed up to get a check. Sure it would probably sound crappy but I think I might actually enjoy the honesty.

  10. jc126 says:

    She should return or better yet donate the money to a good charity or this will remain a PR nightmare. I agree she seems dumb as a box of rocks.

  11. Original Bee says:

    This type of thing has happened several times now with celebrities attending events for genocidal dictators. Who the hell is booking them for these events? Do these people do even a modicum of research? If I was a celebrity I might want to look into who I was performing for in these private paid events. Also, maybe Hilary Swank knows how little people care about her, and thought no one would notice.

  12. dorothy says:

    I thought she was smarter than that. Guess she’s like so many celebrities…dumb as a rock.

  13. mia girl says:

    Aside from what others have commented, I’m thinking, wow, how many celebrities had to say no before they ended up with Hilary Swank as their “big name” guest.

  14. kieslwoski says:

    SO is she returning the money, funny she does not mention that!! According to the Daily MAil she got $500K. Really despise her for doing this.

  15. Kimbob says:

    I was so disgusted watching those videos…words cannot describe.

    This IS NOT THE FIRST TIME Hillary has been extremely insensitive. I don’t buy her apology. You can’t tell me she didn’t know about this dude. You don’t go through the trouble of clearing out your schedule to attend such an event…flying over there…getting onstage and saying the “prepared, congratulatory birthday speech” without KNOWING WHO THE HELL RAMZAN KADYROV IS!!!!!

    Yes, I’m disappointed in Jean Claude Van Damme, as well….but let’s be honest…he’s Eurotrash…I’m not surprised.

    Swank, however, was born in America. She came from humble beginnings. As a young girl, she lived in a trailer park. It seems as if she still has a “take the money and run trailer park mentality” though. Brutal? Yes! Honest? Yes! I’m not apologizing.

  16. KLO says:

    When I heard about her attending the party, I was wondering if her PR team was on crack. Now it turns out, they indeed were.
    This puppet leader has been given this job by the russians to continue the genocide of the chechnyan people.
    it’ not such a secret that they couldn’t have found that out by googling.

  17. TXCinderella says:

    She should give the money back, or donate it to a human rights organization. In the eyes of a celeb, it’s all about the money. It irks me whenever there is a fundraiser they show up to, and instead of donating money, they donate an item to be auctioned off. More than likely, the dress, shoes or whatever the item happens to be, was given to them for free by a designer. They do this so that no money comes out of their own wallet. Celebs are so self centered.

  18. lucy2 says:

    I think she needs to donate that money pronto. I get that she’s sorry and am glad she’s made a statement, but there’s no excuse for not looking into what the event is before accepting. Especially when she probably has an agent, manager, assistant, etc who could have done it for her as well. If you don’t know, don’t go.

  19. gee says:

    She’s just stupid trailer trash. I never liked her, now I reaaally don’t.

  20. Stewie says:

    Nothing shocking here. As others have pointed out, it’s common for some celebs to whore themselves out for a paycheck from any tinpot dictator that sends an invite. I think there’s a term coined for this: “useful idiots”.

  21. Masque says:

    Holy cow! According to the Gawker link Seal also attended the party.

    What is it with celebrities that makes them entertain monsters?

  22. lisa says:

    Let’s see all these celebrities that are doing this don’t get called out that much.. But the people that are traveling helping donating their money get called all manners of names.

    so I guess if they traveled and got paid then it is fine. she is not the only one. There are countless celebrities that do this. Go to Hotel openings and such to earn all that money that pocket and never give back. OH forgot they do it in private and anon so no one knows

    this is what many like her do do earn money like Beyonce they don’t give the money back until there is a problem in the public.

    Despise her, but she is a small fish in a bigger pond. She is not even an Alister. How much do you think the others are getting.

  23. ernie says:

    how utterly ignorant or shameless to the core do you have to be not to check – or care to check? – where your cash comes from and whom you seem to support via attending an event in such a difficult and conflicted area!

    she should not only apologize, but donate that money she cashed in plus some extra! to a suitable ngo. she might also consider making a public appearance in favor of on of the organizations supporting the victims of the conflict and/or peace-building in the area.

    if she doesn’t, her ‘apology’ means crap – only saving face AND the money. it’s disgustful.

  24. mln76 says:

    BUT PEOPLE she was warned beforehand by Human Rights Watch!!! And she lied and told them she wouldn’t attend. See the link on my comment #2.

  25. Rhiley says:

    I want to feed her carrots, apples, and hay and pet her silky mane.

  26. jen says:

    She regrets she got caught publicly.

  27. Mike says:

    Hilary is a high school drop out who wasted no time throwing her ex-husband under the bus when she left him for her agent, so, while she is a great actress, she clearly is not a great person. Also I am sure she was paid and that she kept the money.

  28. ernie says:

    @min76: true, thanks, just read the statement.
    this is more than her ‘just’ being dumb – she most probably is – or her having a ‘bad pr team’. or even her being the caricature of your average ignorant hollywood egotist . this is outright nauseating and repellent in its dishonesty and disrespectfulness. unless she makes major amends, i personally will not watch anything she is in in the future.

  29. Denise says:

    Her once brilliant career seems to have stalled; these Hollywood people never asks questions first, they just grab the dough and apologize after the fact.

  30. Katija says:

    His Wikipedia is short and horrifying if anyone is interested…

    http://en.wikipedia.or/wiki/Ramzan_Kadyrov

    I’m not gonna hate on Swank because it’s not like “systematic prisoner torture” was on her itinerary, but rather just a crummy speech.

  31. shiba says:

    Just doing some celeb endorsing would be more honest, Ms 2-time Oscar winner. Oh right, THAT would be beneath you.

  32. Kimbob says:

    @mln76…thank you so very much for posting the link to Gawker! I read the article, & it is very apparent Hillary KNEW WHAT SHE WAS DOING!!!

    You see, that’s what I like about the bloggers that visit Celebitchy. Most of us are a little “jaded.” Most of the bloggers are not so naive and the writers are definitely not naive, & they are jaded, as well.

    Well, it looks to me that Hillary has lined her pockets with BLOOD MONEY! This is equally applicable to Van Damme, and Seal, as well. I’m so glad to be informed which celebrities are so heartless, greedy, and, at the VERY LEAST…indifferent.

  33. serena says:

    she should donate the money (all of it) to human rights watch. it is extremely irresponsible to attend an event without researching it first. i have lost all respect for her.

  34. GirlyGIrl says:

    Expecting actors to know what’s going on outside of the two meter radius of their own heads is asking a lot.

    I’d give her a pass on this one…

  35. GirlyGIrl says:

    Hilary – Claim ignorance, it’s a gimme

  36. Dibba says:

    I deeply regret looking at her.

  37. Katyusha says:

    Am I the only one that thinks Hilary Swank is sort of a random celebrity to be invited by a Chechen president?

    I mean, I sort of get Jean Claude Van Damme – he’s a regional celebrity. But Hilary?

  38. cr says:

    GirlyGIrl, that’s not going to work. Even if she was too lazy to research him, someone employed by her should have done so.
    So no, no pass on this one.

  39. mln76 says:

    @ernie & Kimbob yes it’s much worse than just being an ignorant celeb and crosses the line into cartoonishly evil. Oh and I bet she will definitely not return the money or donate a red cent because she obviously needs it really, really bad.

  40. mia135 says:

    Yep, she was warned about going to that party and still went anyway. She knew full well what she was doing. Shakira and other celebs were warned about it too and had the good sense not to go.

    Don’t worry Hilary, just jet-set off to some war-torn third-world country for a spell to do “humanitarian work” and stage a photo op. And then in a year or two adopt some poor “orphan of colour” from somewhere – better yet adopt domestically, that earns you extra points – and then all will be forgiven by the world.

  41. Cheyenne says:

    Is she that hard up that she grabs a check to attend the birthday party of someone she doesn’t even know?

    And is she so dumb that she doesn’t bother to find out who he is and what he represents before she hops on the plane?

    Evidently she’s as butt-stupid as she is butt-ugly.

    I used to think she looked like Seattle Slew but now she’s starting to resemble Francis the Talking Mule. Only Francis was probably smarter than this bimbo.

  42. mln76 says:

    @mia135 now it’s time to attack Angelina Jolie & her kids for something someone else did???
    Can’t you guys focus on Hilary and her bad behavior and leave the Angie bashing on her threads like sane people :)

  43. Leticia says:

    Just another useful celebrity idiot, used by third world evil dictators for propaganda purposes.

  44. Cheyenne says:

    @mln: You know they can’t help it. Haters gon’ hate. The difference is Angie would have thoroughly researched that guy and said no damn way.

  45. mia135 says:

    @mln76 – where the hell did I mention anything about Angelina Jolie or her kids? Angelina Jolie is the only celeb that adopts or does charity work now? When Paris Hilton got out of jail she made a big to-do about doing charity work in Rwanda, which never materialized. Of course it was just a front for her to try to improve her image. Ditto Lindsay Lohan and her trekking off to orphanages in India. Or Sandra Bullock after it was revealed that her husband was a Nazi-lover. And don’t even get me started on the Earth Mother herself, aka Madonna. It is a well-known fact that many celebs take on charity work as part of their brand and PR image.

    You would only feel the need to assume I was talking about Angelina Jolie in a post that has nothing to do with her if you were obesessed with her or something.

    And for your information, I don’t even read any of the Angelina Jolie threads let alone comment on them because I find them ridiculous. I must have commented on one single one and that was ages ago. Go back and see if you find Mia135 on an AJ thread – That is, if you can bare to sift through the million and one comments of course.

  46. Zzzzzzzzz says:

    She couldn’t google this guy? In this day and age of information at our finger tips, ignorance is no excuse. She saw dollar signs and agreed immediately no questions asked. Greedy, ignorant woman.

  47. mln76 says:

    @mia whatever I am not trying to start a war. But the two things you mentioned humanitarian work and adopting children of color specifically remind everyone Angelina and she made a humanitarian visit to Libya yesterday. If that wasn’t your intention I apologize. I just think it’s unfair that every celebrity who does charity work should be judged by those few people who do it for the worst reasons and end up getting exposed for their corruption sooner or later.

  48. snappy81 says:

    Agree with everyone else — Google girl! (And yes, on top of that, she DID know what she was getting into thanks to Human Rights Watch.) But for so many it’s all about the Benjamins, and Swank is just another example of that. I also often wonder how celebrities can represent some of the companies they do considering the track records of some of those companies on various issues. But they don’t care. They just want the check.

    I am SHOCKED that Seal attended! SHOCKED. And very, very sad.

  49. mia135 says:

    Lots of celebs do humanitarian work, it’s almost like it’s written into their contracts by their agents or something.

    Angelina Jolie is one celeb I don’t have an interest in so I don’t really know what her intentions are.
    I used to see all these posts with titles like: ‘Angelina Jolie buys a pair of shades’ and they would be followed by two hundred ridiculous comments so I stopped reading them.

    I read something about Matt Damon and his water charity and he seemed to be sincere in his efforts.

    Mark my words. Swank will try to do some kind of damage control and it will have a humanitarian slant. I think the best thing she can do at this stage, like others have already said, is to quietly donate the money to a worthwhile cause.

  50. Shes not sorry she attened.Shes not sorry she got paid.Shes not sorry that she was warned,but went any way.Shes sorry she got CAUGHT.

  51. Violet says:

    As @mln76 points out, Hilary knew full well that she was accepting blood money. She doesn’t have an ounce of integrity or honor.

    The only thing she’s sorry about is that she’s getting negative publicity now.

    What a despicable b*tch.

  52. Plus,how hard-up really are these stars for money?? Come on,I’m sure Beyonce was rubbing her last two dimes together,before she signed on for her gig.Really,I’m thinkin’ WTF!!!

  53. Mitch Buchanan Rocks says:

    Thanks for the link Mln – I don’t believe that, in this age of information at the touch of our fingertips, that Hilary didn’t know what this guy was about.

  54. pwal says:

    First – that first picture of Hilary is VERY unfortunate. But she looked good at that birthday party – much softer.

    However, I am with everyone who are scratching their heads about her ‘not knowing’. Google is your friend, Hilary. And what about her boyfriend/agent? He’s supposed to look out for her both professionally and personally, so WTH? Mind you, she is her own first line of defense.

    And I’m wondering if this is karma too. First, she forgot to mention Chad in her Oscar acceptance speech, then she put dude on blast about his substance abuse issues without any kind of justification.

  55. Angelica says:

    Yes! She is so sorry she got caught! Before you attend any event, don’t you make a homework????she did made an effort to memorize ” Salam aleyukom”,!! Why she never bothered to google ‘ Kadirov’?I ll never watch a movie with her anymore! Full stop!

  56. mln76 says:

    I doubt that Hilary or Seal will have to do any more damage control. I think in a few weeks this will blow over. I mean Beyonce and Mariah performed for the Gaddaffis and the story blew over in a few days. Swank won’t say anything else about it and unless sometime in the next few weeks a major international incident involving this jerk happens no one will even remember this. I don’t think she’s even going to bother doing any charity work.

  57. Violet says:

    Incidentally, I’m not impressed that Jean-Claude Van Damme and Seal attended this event. I have no idea what kind of a guy Van Damme is but I always thought Seal was a decent human being so it’s a shock to realize he’s not.

  58. The Bobster says:

    #25, I feel the same way about Horseface. I remember when actresses were pretty.

  59. smh says:

    i regret the fact that i once respected her. what a fucking airhead. i mean i understand van damme is a meathead but she?

  60. e.non says:

    i hadn’t realized seal also attended. i would have expected more from him. what a dirtbag.

    anything for $$$$$$$$$ — they’ll even whore themselves out for a friggin murderous dictator. these people have really revealed their true selves.

  61. Swiss says:

    She didn’t know?
    Swank is a two time Oscar winning actress, her staff must be
    ” BIG “.
    Does Swank wants to sell to the public that she didn’t know what and who’s event she was paid to attend?
    I would rather, if she honestly admit that she only cared about the amount of money she gets, instead of pretending not to know.

  62. podzol says:

    Swank made a major no-no, but Seal and Van Damme are equally to blame here. Sad that she’s basically the punching bag when all three should be publically called on to give their $ to charities.

  63. Jen D says:

    Wasn’t Van Damme going on about how he “loved” Kadyrov? I think I heard that.

    What a crazy stupid move. By the way, her PR firm was contacted about him and they never returned the call. There is a small chance that she really didn’t hear about it. No excuse, though. It also kind of exposes this stupid celebrity thing about being paid to show up at parties. She’s in big trouble, because her image is kind of wholesome and intelligent. I guess not anymore.

  64. Shemp says:

    I think some people [like me] had an impression of Swank that went something like this: She came from humble beginnings, she worked herself up to be a very fine actress, seemed down-to-earth in interviews, etc., so we “assumed” she had some “moral center.” NOW we learn that she, like many celebs – like many PEOPLE in general – is ALL ABOUT the DOLLARS. And when MONEY TALKS, PRINCIPLES/scruples/etc. WALK.

  65. danielle says:

    “she was warned beforehand by Human Rights Watch!!! And she lied and told them she wouldn’t attend.”

    She knew. She’s sorry she got caught. Despicable b*tch.

  66. Shemp says:

    PS: Maybe HS will put on a show at Guantanamo for all those poor, put-upon Islamic terrorists…IF the “$” is right, of course.

  67. Ron says:

    This is about MONEY. There are so many altrutistic, I would never go to that event people. If there suddenly was a 500,000.00 check, a private jet, stylist and clothing to attend in front of them, I bet most people would change their mind. If she even really knew. But if there were a half a mil in front of my face for a weekends work, it would be hard to turn down.
    Error in judgement, yes. but I can’t really blame her to be honest.

  68. Swiss says:

    @ Ron :

    Sorry, but I don’t think she needs the money like most people do in this world.
    Swank is a double Oscar winning actress, she most likely never has to work in her life, if she doesn’t want to.
    Also, PR is as important in Hollywood as looks and talent.
    I don’t buy for a second that she didn’t know what she was paid to attend.
    Just imagine how many lawyers and PR people work on her behalf.
    She even received a letter warning her about the human rights abuses from a Human Rights Group.
    The only reason Swank figured that she could get away with it is because Chechnya is not exactly a country that is covered by the news media these days after the war has ended.
    She liked the paycheque.

  69. You don't say says:

    I understand why everyone is going after her. I don’t really understand why these folks do events for money. She is not poor and who cares about that particular tyrant. Is Chechnya some new glamour spot for actors and other entertainers? Doubt it.

    But, why is Seal getting off so esily. He should also know better. Van Damme, who cares.

  70. ladyfoot says:

    pretty sure she knew very well that he was no president to take home to mom, but what amazes me is the fact that she wasn’t even scared for her safety enough to refuse.

  71. Flan says:

    @Kimbob.

    The lowest kind of ‘Eurotrash’ can still speak more languages than you, uneducated twirp.

  72. badrockandroll says:

    Ladyfoot: why would Hilary have any fears for her own safety? If she was politically active in Chechnya or a Moslem of a different enough stripe (too moderate, too fundamentalist) I would agree, but the whole point of these Dictator Balls is to lend the dictator some credence – no way is somthing going to happen to a “star”. Ask Sting the uber human rights fellow – he and Trudy regularly attend them for cash. Ray Charles used to attend at the opening of an envelope, if that envleope was stuffed with enough cash for him (but they forget that part when they talk about how he rose up from the oppression of America.)
    And the whole money thing is like blood diamonds – Human Rights Watch warned Hilary not to attend, she did so anyway – would that organization now take her dirty money to help make her feel better about being caught with her hand in the proverbial cookie jar?

  73. Cheyenne says:

    @Swiss: She may have two Oscars but her career has been circling the bowl for the past couple of years. Maybe she needed the paycheck.

  74. JaneWonderfalls says:

    I sincerely believe she had no idea who this guy was, but next time you should do more research on people and things before you brand yourself with it. I forgive her because she was ignorant to the fact. You can’t hold things against someone if they didn’t know.

  75. Tuppiv says:

    Bullshit she didn’t know. I’m on my phone, so can’t easily give reference, but a human rights group contacted her before the event and spelled out exactly why she shouldn’t go. She replied to them saying basically, “Thanks for the info. I will not be attending now that I know.” Then she went anyway.

    I always liked, or at least respected, her. Not anymore.

  76. fwiw says:

    I don’t buy her apology. Disappointed in her and the things she will do for money. Ugh

  77. Blue says:

    You know what, i think Chechnya offered her a cheque to come, the human rights group told her what she’s getting into and she decided not to go. Then Chechnya waved a bigger pay cheque at her and she hopped on the plane.

  78. Flan says:

    @Blue: what you say combined with her not really understanding what things lie genocide actually mean.

    If she did, it would be even dumber to think nobody would call her out for it.

  79. Victoria says:

    On the other I find it pretty funny that our US government has assassinated people, done some really shady things to other countries, the Q of England and the friggin Pope are being tied to child slavery, human tracfficking, and apparantly mass grave sites of buried children, the raping and pillaging of Africa from the powerful western nations by some of our world leaders, including this present administration, and yet people aren’t getting mad when celebs get shipped into our Galas or the Queen’s celebrations, etc.

    I find it pretty hypocritical that people get mad at celebs who take money from the people who are deemed by our government as the “bad guys” when our government has and continues to some of the same things in the name of democracy. Wake up.

    They are all despicable and if celebrities can get paid to entertain at political events in power play countries and not get called out then live and let the hell live.

    They are all wrong for doing anything for any politically sanctioned event with the exception of urging people to vote

  80. mln76 says:

    @Victoria you can disagree with the policies of the US all you want but it’s simply not the same as a totalitarian dictatorship no matter how misguided and unfair the polices of some of our governments at times are we are still able for the most part to enjoy little things like the Bill of Rights. So yes there is a huge difference.

  81. Rose says:

    Busted, and I’m glad she’s been busted. It’s pure greed and buy that she’s sorry she got busted but not sorry she went and took the money. I bet she’s fired some of her people for not checking into it, but seriously is a person needs to pay you a six figure sum to come to their party then something fishy’s going on.

  82. Auds says:

    But I bet she wasn’t sorry to accept the money.
    When I read about this a week ago, I was a little disappointed. These celebrities don’t really need the money, but they’d bloody well do anything to get a tax free deal – and that is what it’s all about. Tax free money. For all anyone knows, the fee doesn’t count as income.
    Either way, her credibility is compromised now.

  83. Victoria says:

    @mln “you can disagree with the policies of the US all you want but it’s simply not the same as a totalitarian dictatorship no matter how misguided and unfair the polices of some of our governments at times are we are still able for the most part to enjoy little things like the Bill of Rights. So yes there is a huge difference.”

    There is no difference but for the names. When we go into other countries and tell them they have to learn our way of democracy or interfere in other people’s issues so that we can manipulate the outcome to our advantage, and it’s all pretty shady, then to me the only difference is that we elect the officials to do it.

    America is becoming a dictatorship little by little but it was under the guise “freedom” and our “constitution”. Now it’s getting more visible. What we as the people want hardly ever really comes into play when dealing with the elite. They have their own agenda. Both libs and cons.

    Finally, like I said, the government doesn’t have a problem with dictators. We’ve got into bed with plenty including Ghaddafi and it’s all beautiful as long they are doing what the government wants and/or until they are no longer needed and then US gets rid of them. And not just the US. All of the super powers.

    So I stand by my statement. Celebrities can raise political awareness in terms of urging people to know abut the issues that affect us domestically and globally. But getting paid to
    show up or support any politician/leader is not cool with me. Do it for free if it that important to you.

  84. nancy says:

    How can she say she didn’t know what they were celebrating…she even wishes him happy birthday and then says “she’s not stupid, she does her homework”…how can she then say she doesn’t know why she’s there????
    Bad Hilary, bad….

  85. emilie says:

    @Kimbob
    You probably won’t read this but I think your comment about Jean-Claude Van Damme was rather offensive. I’m european or as you call it so charmingly ‘eurotrash’ and I don’t appreciate this kind of dismissal. And your statement right underneath pretty much implied that you expected it from europe but oh no, not America. Funny that your statue of liberty was made by eurotrash though, isn’t it?
    Have some respect.

    As for Hilary Swank, she’s the one from PS. I love you? I’m sure her fangirls won’t mind too much
    I honestly thought she wasn’t a bad actress though which might have made me a little biased but this is a little disturbing