General News

Swank donating controversial party funds to charity

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Oct 14, 2011 | 10:00am EDT

Officials at Human Rights Watch have denounced Swank and Jean-Claude Van Damme for partying with Kadyrov in celebration of his 35th birthday on 5 October (11), amid allegations the leader is responsible for the brutality and torture of his own people.

The Million Dollar Baby star has already apologised for agreeing to attend the party and speaking onstage at the lavish bash in the country's capital city of Grozny, admitting, "If I had a full understanding of what this event was apparently intended to be, I would never have gone."

But her words of sorrow were not enough for Human Rights Watch executives - they responded by stating, "The more important question now is what is Swank going to do with the blood money paid from Kadyrov’s coffers? She sidesteps the issue completely."

The extra pressure has now prompted Swank to rid herself of the party money and a representative for the star tells The Hollywood Reporter that she will be giving away the appearance fee "to various charitable organisations".

Violinist Vanessa Mae and singer Seal have also come under fire for performing at the birthday gig, although the Kiss From A Rose hitmaker is refusing to be drawn into the fuss.

In a defiant post on his Twitter.com blog, he wrote, "By going there, I played MUSIC for the Chechenyan (sic) people. I'm a MUSICIAN and would appreciate if you leave me out of your politics."

It is not known what fee Seal was paid to sing at the party but British musician Mae reportedly took home a $500,000 (£312,500) purse for her work.

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