Some unanswered questions about Hilary Swank and human rights

Guy Adams

Pg 36 swank getty 224x300 Some unanswered questions about Hilary Swank and human rightsHilary Swank attempted a bit of reputation management at the weekend, using Jay Leno’s sofa to issue a fulsome apology for her recent paid appearance at Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov’s 35th birthday party.

During the interview, which you can watch highlights of here, the actress claimed that the trip to Grozny was all a big accident. But she nonetheless accepted that it shouldn’t have happened: “Shame on me,” she said.

To show exactly how sorry she is, Swank pledged back in October that the money she earned from the trip, which is said to extend to six figures, will now be donated to charity. During Friday’s Leno interview, she added that she will also now be taking an active role in campaigning against regimes such as Mr Kadyrov’s. “The silver lining is that I’m actually working with Human Rights Watch now,” she said.

So far, so good. Except for two small points. Firstly, no charity, or non-profit, has yet come forward to confirm receipt of Ms Swank’s appearance fee. There is, as yet, no evidence that it has been handed over, as was originally promised two months ago.

Secondly, and equally curiously, Human Rights watch does not appear to have the slightest idea about what capacity it is now supposed to be collaborating with Ms Swank in.

On Monday, I emailed the noble organisation’s press office to ask whether it really was “working with” the actress. They replied as follows…

We have met with Hilary Swank twice after the Oct 5 gala so that she could educate herself about the situation in Chechnya.

I think at the moment, that is all we can say. I’m afraid we don’t have information about whether she has donated her money to charity…

So questions remain: is Ms Swank actually “working with” Human rights watch? Will her relationship with them extend beyond taking a couple of meetings? What charities have received her tainted money? How much were they paid? And when?

We are alas unable to put these queries to the actress, since she was dumped by her PR agency, 42 West, last month, in the aftermath of the affair. A few days earlier, as this newspaper revealed, she sacked her manager and let go of several members of her team at Hollywood talent agency CAA over the Chechen debacle.

Tagged in: ,
  • bigned

    ‘yes she was threatened
    you do this or we spoil your name 
    how fair is that’

    You are arguing with yourself.  First you say she was a victim of terrorist threats,  then you say she in fact she wasn’t.  You say instead that human rights groups  threatened to expose her “mistake’ unless she admitted her ‘mistake’

  • BalqisDeCesare

    you keep going in circles assuming and a lot 
    If my views were biased I wouldnt be reading this newspaper which belongs to a family in open opposition
    I chose a wide range of media from foxnews to press tv then I filter and form my opinion
    the puppet, the torturer, the journalists in russia are not free
    lot of talk from think tanks and propaganda machines but no solid evidence 
    it is easy to spoil one reputation like this 


    I know where you are coming from, it’s just that many people go overboard with the guilt by association (not necessarily you mind) Hilary Swank is not Ramzan Kadyrov.

    ps Not sure you appreciate what Bush ‘n Blair have done…

  • manwhosees

    Heck no !!

  • Snowman

    According to the last ‘election’ the Russian Federation had, Chechens voted >90% in favour of Putin. 

    The fact that you forget to mention this statistic as you complain about pro-Putin Chechens having no voice shows that even you don’t believe the vote results.

  • BalqisDeCesare

    I meant they have no voice in western media, and in fact the main comment to that, it was that frauds in the caucasus covered losses in other regions which is quite forced in my opinion There may have been frauds which will be investigated, but not so massive

  • Snowman

    Oh, that sets my mind at ease. ‘Not so massive’. Just 80% or so.

  • BalqisDeCesare

    we need to have evidences 
    Russia is a sovereign country and will act accordingly

  • Snowman

    YOU may need ‘evidences’. I don’t.

  • Nick_Grace

    Given the length of time between her receiving the payment & the point where she actually hands the money (IF this ever happens), then it MUST be ensured that she also returns any other benefits that she may have received from this incident – including any interest received while the money was in her account, any tax-allowances she may have claimed for putting on the performance, any additional ‘gifts’ or ‘benefits’ (such as travel, accommodation, or ‘personal gifts’), that she may have received for the performance. In general, the actual monetary ‘fee’ for most performances and appearances that people may put on are only a small part of the full package that they would actually receive.
    If she wishes to attempt to claim that she received no personal gain from this performance, then she must be seen to be shedding ALL forms of gain that she may have received from it.

Most viewed



Property search
Browse by area

Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter