Hilary Swank 'deeply regrets' attending Chechen concert
"I deeply regret attending this event, which has thrown into question my long and deeply-held commitment to the protection of human rights," Swank said in a statement to The Washington Post. "I would never intentionally do anything that raised doubts about such commitment."
Swank came under fire after she showed up for the opening of a residential and commercial complex in Grozny City and wished the controversial Chechen president a happy birthday.
In the statement, Swank says she accepted the invitation "because the construction project was described to her as a symbol of hope for the people of Chechnya, a region that had been devastated by war."
However, critics argue that Swank's presence and birthday wishes for Kadyrov showed a disregard for allegations that the Chechen president is responsible for torturing and/or murdering a number of individuals. In fact, the Human Rights Commission claims it sent Swank -- along with several celebrity invitees -- a letter ahead of the event explaining why attendance would be a massive mistake.
"If I had a full understanding of what this event was apparently intended to be," concludes Swank's statement, "I would never have gone."