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Hilary Swank Says She Won't RSVP Without Research After Chechnya Controversy

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Dec. 6 2011, Published 2:30 p.m. ET

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By Debbie Emery - Radar Reporter

Hilary Swank got embroiled in a human rights outcry following her recent controversial visit to Chechnya and she is still battling the backlash.

The Oscar winning actress appears on the cover of the December/January issue of Gotham Magazine, and inside she attempts to explain her mistake by claiming she was there on a peaceful mission and didn't do enough research before accepting an overseas invitation.

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“In this case, a Turkish real estate company invited me to help promote peace by celebrating the rebuilding of a war-torn city and meeting people who were rebuilding their lives," Swank revealed in an interview conducted by fellow actress, Mariska Hargitay.

"That’s how it was presented to me, and I thought, absolutely, yes.

"When I was there, I was asked to wish the president a happy birthday, and I did," she explained.

As previously exclusively reported, Swank made a huge amount of money from her October 5 criticized attendance at an event attended by Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen leader who is accused of murder, torture and abductions by human rights groups.

"Shame on me for not having researched the trip more fully, but I didn’t know President Kadyrov’s record," the Million Dollar Baby star told Gotham.

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"Human rights organizations had tried to warn me, but those warnings weren’t shared with me.

"It’s on me for having gone, and I regret it. Believe me, I’m never again accepting an invitation before making sure I have all the information I need," pledged Hilary, who has since fired her manager of eight years, Jason Weinberg.


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