Hilary Swank has expressed her regret of partying with accused torturer. The "Million Dollar Baby" star was among celebrities who attended Chenchen Republic president Ramzan Kadyrov's 35th birthday party on October 5 in Grozny, Chechnya.
Swank was slammed for taking part in the celebration because Human Rights Foundation has listed Kadyrov as someone "accused of using torture, causing disappearances, and authorizing extrajudicial executions" since taking office in 2007.
The actress wished the leader a "Happy Birthday" on-stage and said that she Swank admired his "passion to make peace and to make something beautiful".
Swank claimed she was unaware of Kadyrov's alleged connection to human rights violations. "I deeply regret attending this event," she wrote a statement to the Associated Press. "If I had a full understanding of what this event was apparently intended to be, I would never have gone."
Jean-Claude Van Damme and Vanessa Mae also attended the birthday party but they have yet to comment. Van Damme was heard as saying, "I love you, Mr. Kadyrov" at the party.