Hilary Swank was paid a six-figure sum to attend an event celebrating the rebuilding of the downtown commercial hub of formerly war-torn Grozny and not the birthday party of Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, an individual close to the actress said.
The individual spoke to TheWrap a day after it was revealed that Swank had fired her longtime manager and two agents in the wake of a PR disaster.
Swank attended a 35th-birthday celebration for Kadyrov in Chechnya last month despite warnings from activists to her representatives about the controversial autocrat's sordid human rights record.
Also read: Hilary Swank Fires CAA Agents, Manager in Wake of Chechen PR Disaster
The Swank insider conceded that human rights groups contacted the actress' reps prior to the Oct. 5 event. "They asked if she had plans to attend a birthday party. (The reps) said, 'Absolutely not — this is a real estate event for the new Grozny city.'"
The insider said Swank's representatives circled back to Turkish organizers of the event, who confirmed its grand-opening nature.
They apparently didn't brief Swank on the background of the region's political leaders, however.
"Then when she gets to Grozny, the event organizers were there and they asked her if she would mind wishing the president of Chechyna a happy birthday," the individual said. "She was like a deer in the headlights. She had no idea how bad a guy this was."
Also read: Human Rights Orgs Blast Hilary Swank, Jean-Claude Van Damme, for Attending Chechen Leader's Bash
Swank's birthday wishes to Kadyrov were caught on camera, circulated globally on YouTube, leading to widespread criticism of the Oscar-winning actress along with singer Seal and former action movie star Jean-Claude Van Damme, who were also at the event.
On Sunday, TheWrap confirmed that Swank had fired her manager of eight years, Jason Weinberg, along with two members of her CAA team, Amie Yavor and Josh Lieberman.
Swank's boyfriend Jason Campisi is a CAA agent, so it is believed that she will stick with the firm.