Articles & Notes — October 12, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Van Damme and Swank bashed for going to Chechnya

Before going to Bulgaria to shoot “Expendables 2”, action star Jean-Claude Van Damme got invited to Chechnya, to attend a party in honor of Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov.

What’s interesting, Van Damme wasn’t alone, Oscar-winning actress Hillary Swank was there as well (as the pic shows, she sat right near Van Damme).

In 2009, the American organization Freedom House named Chechnya alongside Burma, North Korea and Chinese Tibet on a list of the most repressive societies in the world…

Hollywood Reporter believes both Van Damme and Swank were paid 6 figure sums for attending this event. Reportedly, Van Damme event went on stage, and said this: “I love you Mr. Kadyrov”, while Hillary Swank wished the Chechen leader a happy birthday.

It should also be noted, that violinist Vanessa Mae performed at the event. Local media claimed she was paid around £320,000.

In particular, Swank was criticized for attending this event, due to the fact that her manager earlier said she won’t be attending the ceremony. While representatives of both stars remained silent, the chechens enjoyed the big stars on their home turf.

Such big names in the movie busines as Eva Mendes and Kevin Costner were reportedly offered to come, but they declined.

I don’t get it, even if both Van Damme and Swank were paid to go there, what’s the problem with that? Its simple: a man had a birthday, and he invited some other people to come over and celebrate it with him. The only difference is that the MAN is Kadyrov, and the people he invited are Hollywood stars.

As far as Costner and Mendes go…I believe they declined their invites for 4 reasons…

1 – where is chechnya?
2 – security measures
3 – bad publicity / bad image / reputation damage
4 – not enough money

Anyway. Someone wins, someone loses. Happens everyday, happens to all of us. I’ve also read some comments – people, as usual, were claiming they wont go and see any movies with Swank and Van Damme, because they’re money hungry, blah blah blah. Well, needless to say, its all just talk.

We all remember when Schwarzenegger had this sex scandal, and back then people were saying exactly the same thing. Result – they WILL ALL go and watch “Expendables 2” when its out…which, in case you don’t know, stars both Schwarzenegger, and Van Damme.



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