Hilary Swank makes her first post-Chechnya appearance as her PR firm fires her

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Last night was the premiere of J. Edgar at the AFI Film Fest. All of the stars came out for the film except for Dame Judi Dench, who was in London doing press for the new James Bond film. Several of Clint Eastwood’s former stars and friends came out to celebrate his new film too – including Hilary Swank. This is Hilary’s first public outing since she got publicly slammed for attending the birthday party of a Chechen dictator, and accepting $1.5 million for the pleasure. Days after the scandal went international, Hilary canceled a charity appearance, claiming she was sick, but I guess she feels well enough to hang out with Clint Eastwood, right? There were reports earlier this week that Hilary fired her manager over the Chechnya incident, and now Entertainment Weekly reports that Hilary’s PR firm fired HER.

Hilary Swank’s bad month just got even worse. In the wake of the storm of bad press surrounding her paid appearance at a birthday event for Chechen president, and alleged human rights violator, Ramzan Kadyrov, the two-time Oscar winner has been dumped by her PR team at 42West, a source familiar with the situation confirms exclusively to EW.

The publicity firm parted ways with Swank over a disagreement on how best to deal with the fallout from the Oct. 5 event, which was also attended by Jean-Claude Van Damme, Seal, and English violinist Vanessa-Mae.

Earlier this week, it was widely reported that Swank fired her manager of eight years, Jason Weinberg, and two of his associates at CAA, though not her lawyer, Jeff Bernstein, who reportedly played a significant role in the Chechnya visit. Three weeks ago, Swank apologized for attending and promised to donate her fee to charity, but appeared to stop short of taking personal responsibility. “If I had a full understanding of what this event was apparently intended to be,” she said, “I would never have gone.”

Calls to 42West have not been returned, and Swank’s lawyer has not responded to a request for comment.

[From Entertainment Weekly]

Sucks for Hilary. I guess she’s doing her own PR now, thus this red carpet appearance for Clint Eastwood. She’s probably hoping that Clint will act as a human shield to protect her from the fallout. I can’t believe she’s using an old dude like that.

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I’m including some more photos from the AFI premiere. Leo looks great, IMO. Clint looks old as dirt. Naomi Watts looks nice, but Liev looks rough. And Armie Hammer is so cartoon-handsome, it’s creepy. Oh, and my lover Ed Westwick was there! He’s in the movie too. He’s so smarmy and gorge.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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47 Responses to “Hilary Swank makes her first post-Chechnya appearance as her PR firm fires her”

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  1. Alix says:

    Well, Eastwood being an old friend of hers, she probably felt it was safe to come out and play. Her face looks odd, though — has her smile always been that crooked?

  2. Dee says:

    She’s an idiot.

    Am I the only one that worries about Naomi and Liev?

  3. someone says:

    i LOVE that picture with armie hammer and i’m assuming his wifey? didn’t see it coming especially with the rest of those photos being so serious.

  4. Eve says:

    Did she fire her PR team, or was fired by them? I think the headline is wrong…

    EDIT:

    Ok, ok…I read the entire post and got it. First she fired her manager, then her PR team fired her.

  5. Bite me says:

    Everyone looks rough

  6. Hautie says:

    Well Eastwood is old as dirt. So he looks normal. :)

    And yes, Armie Hammer is a pretty man. A pretty man, that looks do-able!

    Poor Hilary. *eye roll*

    I find it odd she is firing everyone. Mistakes happen. Suck it up, make a donation and move on. Why is she insisting on making it worse than it should be?

    And why did she not at least do a nice blow out on her hair?

  7. normades says:

    Poor Hilary, 2 Oscars and nothing to fall back on:

    -She’s not cute enough for rom-coms
    -She’s not feminine enough to pimp herself out to cosmetic companies
    -She’s not fashionable enough to pimp herself out to clothing companies
    -Unlucky in love, can’t date a “hot” actor

    I have one word for you Hilary: TV. Find yourself a good medical drama pronto.

  8. Jackie says:

    armie needs to ditch the make up. mascara?? really?? and i thought he was sooo handsome in the social network.

  9. bluhare says:

    Clint Eastwood *is* an old dude. An awesome old dude.

    I think it’s too bad Hilary’s being singled out over everyone else, but I guess when you go out on stage and tell everyone how you did your research you deserve what you get. I wish just once someone involved in one of these things told the truth. Like, yes, I knew his reputation but I don’t have a bunch of money and 1.5 mil for a couple of hours was worth it. At least she’d get some honest points.

  10. Dizzybenny says:

    I say bullsh*t to that story.I think SHE fired the PR team just like her manager.
    As if you drop a 2 times Oscar winner over something dumb like that,please!!
    If it was Mel Gibson type rants,yeah ok,but this is ridiculous.

  11. ruby says:

    Why is Hilary the only one getting shit for this Chechnya thing ? How about Seal ?

    Sounds like some people were just waiting for an excuse to bitch about Hilary. I’m not accusing anyone in particular, but I just don’t get all the hate.

    No one went this crazy about Beyoncé and Khadafi.

  12. lin234 says:

    Maybe she should have been like Seal and refused to talk about it at all. You don’t hear about him getting flack at all. She keeps apologizing but it seems to be making everything worse.

  13. podzol says:

    Swank really played this badly and I wonder if her career will recover from this PR disaster. There was no previous ill will towards her beforehand but rather more indifference (unlike the Kardashians, where everyone with an ounce of common sense is gleeful with schadenfreude, and rightfully so!).

    Had she immediately reacted in a different manner, I’m sure it would have been forgiven within a week. Instead, she’s practically drowning right now, firing people left and right and being fired herself. Ish.

  14. ladybert62 says:

    Hilary – girl do something with that stringy hair. Get it cut and styled – it is a stringy mess.

    Clint is looking ancient!

  15. serena says:

    She deserved it. She should just be ashamed of herself. Go to charity events NOT PARTY, idiot. And leave Clint alone.

  16. serena says:

    @Dee: I’m worrying too, they look so cold to each other!

  17. mia girl says:

    Hilary – You really should be firing whoever did your hair and makeup.

  18. carrie says:

    where is the RP disaster for Seal,JCVD or Vanessa Mae? why is it only on Swank?

    and every one looks good at the première

  19. Kimbob says:

    I don’t know why Seal, & the violinist (never heard of her) haven’t received as much backlash.

    Personally, any person that went to that event is crossed off on my list. That’s just the way I roll.

    Van Damme…like I’ve said before in another post on this topic…I guess it can be expected of him…he’s Eurotrash.

    I think the public had certain “expectations” of Hillary. When I heard about her attending this event, my reaction was definitely visceral. Also, the way she handled this was very “Don’t look at me y’all, if I’d known, I would have NEVER!” Then she went on & was mean & fired people, but she didn’t even fire her attorney, who, it’s been reported, green-lighted her to go to the event.

    @bluhare…I TOTALLY agree w/you. Yeah, it SUCKS having to admit you’ve effed up…but honesty (w/me at least) goes A LONG WAY! You know, everyone makes mistakes…we’re human…who the hell doesn’t like a good paycheck for doing NOTHING, & like…um…hey..I need the $$$$ really? It still doesn’t make it right, & I wouldn’t have done such, but if she was honest, I’d have more empathy. Yeah, I wish she’d just be effing HONEST about that…I’d think more of her. But…tis not “politically correct” I suppose.

    Oh, and…..to what cause has she announced she’s giving back her 1.5 MIL? Haven’t heard much about that. That’s yet another reason I’m hating on her. Lies, lies, lies!

  20. Lisa says:

    That BROKE MY HEART ABOUT SEAL!!!

    I will NEVA…and I mean…NEVA buy any of his records again…and will NEVA view him in the same way again either…and you have to understand…I LOVED HIM!!!

    There is NO EXCUSE for those actions…NONE!!!

  21. Callumna says:

    Love Clint Eastwood. AKA the only movie star.

    Hillary’s more of a mess over this thing than I thought which is well deserved. But at least she’s got enough oomph for press.

    Jean Claude Van Damme was at the same thing wasn’t he? And nobody even cares.

  22. Denise says:

    Rock on Clint! I love him, he is a legend.

  23. LisaMarie says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE LEO!! Sooo handsome – yum
    Clint is the greatest – he looks like a man his age and was a hunk at one time!! This movie is gonna clean up at the oscars!

  24. lisa says:

    @ruby.

    Yes all the negative seems to be against her. I don’t think that is at all fair. But she is the one that would not shut up about it and just kept digging holes one after the other.

    Seal is a major douche and I guess like her he needs the money. I don’t know about overseas, but I don’t know anyone that is listening to his music anymore. But I’m just on person in Billions

    I think this appearance was to reconnect with Clint. She won her last Oscar under his direction. I can see her trying to remind him that he was behind her at one time.

  25. PleaseICU says:

    Isn’t part of the backlash against her because she’s been pretty outspoken on her political views, and on the topic of human rights violations?

    Then she goes to attend a party in honor of a guy who specializes in human rights violations and abuses. Then lies about and says I’m sorry, I didn’t know he was a bad guy, I wouldn’t have gone if I’d known.

    Then it comes out, oops!, her team did know. Her team was sent info on his human rights abuses by Human Rights Watch and they replied back that she wouldn’t attend the event. And she went anyway.

    Then she came back again and said she’d donate her money (though no word on if she’s done that yet) and started leaking reports she was firing people.

    Seal was likely sent the same info as Hilary and he probably ignored it. And once the fall out started he said leave me out of the politics, I just perform. It’s honest. It’s a position I could never take and live with personally, but at least he was honest about his stance on the whole thing from the get go.

    I think, at this point, a big part of why this story is still alive for Hilary and not the others is that she’s keeping it alive by leaking her every move about the fallout (the firing of the manager, the falling out with her PR firm, etc). She keeps trying to dig herself out of the initial PR hole with all of these after-the-fact moves instead of just letting the story die or allowing one final story where she hands over the check of her fee to the charity she chose. Each time she makes a move in firing someone in reaction to the negative fallout, the initial story of her attending this party gets re-hashed and brought to the forefront again.

  26. pwal says:

    I’m gonna catch hell for this (maybe deservedly), but maybe the reason why Seal hasn’t caught hell is because he is one-half of HW’s token interracial couple. IMO, HW is very reticent about calling high-profile Black folks on the carpet, especially if they ‘represent’ something or if they serve as some sort of currency for them.

  27. Tiffany S says:

    @Dee- I do :( How beautiful is Naomi? Sheesh.

  28. ol cranky says:

    @ Ruby & Kimbob – I think the reason the backlash against her more so than against Seal and others is because she spoke at the event and made a statement about how she knew so much because she had done her research [about Chechnya]

  29. Jayna says:

    @Lisa, well, I listen to his music all the time and I am from the U.S. But he is bigger overseas for sure. He’s a great songwriter. His album System from 2007 is one of my favorite albums to jog to. Great dance energy. I loved his latest love song Secret from his last album Commitment and the video he and Heidi did together.

  30. dorothy says:

    No longer a fan of Hillary’s. The fact that she attended the birthday party show’s that either she’s greedy or stupid as hell.

  31. You don't say says:

    I think Seal’s attitude is worse. He sang, took the money and said screw the politics. Which is pretty cold and uninformed. I also think it has more to do with Heidi providing some cover for him and keeping his name quiet. Of course he was not dumb enough to fire his team, which brings more attention to the mistake, not less.

    Weird that her PR team fired her. They all screwed up it seems.

  32. kieslwoski says:

    SHe is such an idiot, and I would like to know which charity got the dontation? Because to be honest I do not believe she donated the money.

  33. Cheyenne says:

    Clint Eastwood is 81 years old, how the hell do you expect him to look? For a guy his age, he looks great.

    I like that white dress Swank was wearing. The rest of her looks godawful.

  34. wunder says:

    My god but this is one of the ugliest actresses I’ve ever seen! . . . Her face certainly isnt the thing helping her.

    Looks more like the Lifetime Movie genre-and not Hollywood-for her!

  35. ruby says:

    @lisa : I agree with you, and yes, I live in europe and I’ve never heard of Seal, apart from gossip and then always as Heidi’s husband.

    @PleaseICU : that was a very good recap and I see your point. It makes sense.
    Pity though, I like Hilary as an actress. I hope she manages to somehow weather this and learn how to do PR properly because this is crap. If it’s an indicator of her character, then it’s not very flattering.

  36. anne_000 says:

    I think the reason Hilary is getting the press on this & not the others is because she made it an even bigger story by talking about it too much. She shouldn’t have directly talked to the press about it, but instead go thru a rep & have him/her say that the money has been redistributed to a charity PERIOD.

    As for the other celebs, they’re not hashing this over and over. That’s why the press isn’t hanging onto the consequences of what the other celebs did too.

    The more a celeb directly feeds the press about something controversial, the more the press is going to act like sharks when they smell blood in the water.

    And maybe that’s why her PR firm fired her, since she probably hadn’t gone thru them first before talking to the press.

  37. ShanKat says:

    Hilary is dating one of her managers. It isn’t like she’s distant from her team. She knew and didn’t care.

    She made the mistake of being difficult to work with and incredibly unlikeable. I think that’s why she was singled out. A little well-deserved payback. I love that her PR quit her.

    She needs to graze in a distant field for a while. Let it all blow over. Maybe stop acting so cunty.

  38. ShanKat says:

    Oh, and Hello there, Ed Westwick. I’ll bet I’m not the only one who recoiled from that Leo pic back up to Ed.

  39. Stacia says:

    I like her as an actress. Yeah she made a mistake. I say admit your mistake, apologize and give the money to charity or give it back. She’s won 2 Oscars and that says alot. No she may not be the most feminine looking and can only play specific roles, but she’s a good actress. She will learn from this, but I hope that her career rebounds.

  40. Heavenbound says:

    She looks like the female version of Matt Damon.

  41. T.C. says:

    SHE is the reason this stays in the news. She should have just apologized and then turned the check to a charity. Everyone makes dumb mistakes, she would be forgiven with the story going away. But she sends out a statement lying that she didn’t know that this guy was a human rights violator even though a human rights group contacted her. Then she goes and fires her manager (overkill) who wasn’t even responsible for the whole thing. Then she gives out another statement. Her P.R. team fired her because she keeps making the story worse. I’m not letting Van dame or seal off the hook but they aren’t making the story go on and on. I think Seal sucks for taking money from anyone but at least I now know where he stands and he didn’t try to lie. Same with jerky Van Dame. I can’t understand why you would hire a musician but why the actors? It’s like paying for friends to attend your birthday party. Who does that? Dictators with no friends I guess.

  42. Diane says:

    If her PR firm did indeed ‘fire’ her, then they see the writing on the wall… that she will be unbankable in the future. I’ve always found her acting disturbing, especially Boys Don’t Cry. There was something about her which put me off…a detachment. Now I know what it was. Woman has no conscience. If she had a brain, she would have immediately written out a check to one of those human rights groups she likes so much and in the process could’ve turned herself into a hero by putting ‘bad’ money to ‘good’ use. But she’s a greedy bitch, like most of our national celebrities.

  43. la chica says:

    can’t stand her. overrated hack. glad she got caught in a web of desperate lies.

  44. Jover says:

    She is a 15 year old high school drop out; I don’t take my political cues from high school drop outs even if they are celebutards. Yes, Diane, you’re right who in their right mind would take their political cues from any of these characters – esp. the younger under 30 ones – when all is said and done it’s all about me.

  45. kibbles says:

    Oh wow. Didn’t know Vanessa Mae was at this event too. Swank deserves the bad PR but so do the other entertainers who attended. We need a list of ever single Westerner who was at this event whether they are an actor, singer, musician, politician, writer, etc. They all deserve to be boycotted until they have issued an apology and a donation of the money they made to a worthy cause.

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