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Hilary Swank On Her Ill-Fated Chechnya Trip: “I Should Know Where I’m Going’

By | Saturday December 3, 2011 @ 1:10am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Hilary Swank tonight kicked off her image-rehabilitating campaign after a disastrous paid appearance at tyrannical Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov’s birthday party with a visit to The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. The backlash from the October 5 appearance in Grozny led to Swank firing her manager and most of her agents. The fallout also included her PR firm 42West reportedly dropping her over disagreement how the aftermath of her embarrassing stint should be handled, so it’s unclear who booked her appearance on Leno tonight. In it, Swank tried to repair some of the damage by claiming ignorance. She ultimately took responsibly for her blunder but left some blame for her representatives too. “Human rights organizations had reached out to warn me before I went, but I did not get those warnings, they weren’t shared with me,” she said in a subtle jab at her reps. “The bottom line is I should know where I’m going and should do better research.” Watch Swank’s account of the events in the video clip below. Curiously, the clip stops just before the end of the conversation, which, in typical Leno fashion, didn’t include a single tough question. In the left-out part, after talking about how little she knew about Chechnya and its government before the incident and how much she has learned since, Swank said, “I actually didn’t know that Chechnya was separate from Russia.” The statement is somewhat puzzling … Read More »

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Hilary Swank Dropped By 42West: Report

By | Thursday November 3, 2011 @ 9:26pm PDT

Chechnya tyrant Ramzan Kadyrov’s birthday party is the gift that keeps on giving — or maybe the opposite of that. Hilary Swank’s PR firm 42West has released the actress, EW reports, amid the continuing fallout from her appearance at the October 5 event. As one of the trades might have said, the “praisery” decided to distance itself from Swank because she and they disagreed how the aftermath of her appearance should be handled. Swank already fired longtime manager Jason Weinberg and a pair of CAA agents but remains with CAA as a client. For now.

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Hilary Swank Fires Manager Jason Weinberg

I’ve confirmed that the actress has axed her manager of 8 years Jason Weinberg, the founding partner of Untitled Entertainment whom she thanked in her 2005 speech for winning the Best Actress Oscar for Million Dollar Baby. The firing was first reported today by the UK’s The Independent On Sunday newspaper. It writes that Swank also is removing CAA agents Amie Yavor and Josh Lieberman from her team and is upset with the tenpercentery’s Lauren Hale as well. But the paper says Swank is not exiting CAA where her partner of five years, John Campisi, is an agent. So what’s the reason? The horrible publicity which Swank received after human rights organizations outed that she’d accepted a fat fee to walk the Red Carpet and make a speech and give greetings to Chechnya’s tyrannical president Ramzan Kadyrov at his birthday party earlier this month even though he’s been linked to brutal abuses. ”There’s a world of s–t going down at CAA over it…,” a knowledgeable source emails me. It sure seems that a lot of people exercised terrible judgment, first and foremost among them Swank herself. Read the entire backstory from The Independent‘s Los Angeles corespondent Guy Adams here.

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