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Swank yanked by PR firm over Chechnya bash

Nov. 5, 2011 at 12:33 PM
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NEW YORK, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Hilary Swank's Manhattan publicists dropped the actress as a client rather than take the fall for her visit to Chechnya, a source told The Hollywood Reporter.

Swank has been digging out of the flap caused by her attendance at an Oct. 5 birthday party for Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov, and her representatives at public relations company 42 West were uncomfortable with her subsequent statements that she was unaware of the true nature of the trip.

"If I had a full understanding of what this event was apparently intended to be, I would never have gone," Swank said in a written statement. Nevertheless, she was featured in YouTube videos having a seemingly fine time at the event, which was also attended by Jean-Claude Van Dam and Seal.

The source told THR Swank was under the impression she was travelling to Chechnya on behalf of a Turkish company for the opening of a new development in Grozny. They said her manager assured her Kadyrov's bash was not on the agenda.

Nevertheless, 42 West was of the opinion Swank needed to take full responsibility for attending the party and that pleading ignorance did not ring true.

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