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DEC
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2 YEARS

Hilary Swank Talks Chechnyan Debacle on Leno; Claims She Didn't Know Country 'Was Separate From Russia' (Video)

The actress did some damage control during an appearance on "The Tonight Show" after she came under fire in October for attending dictator Ranzan Kadyrov's birthday celebration.

Hilary Swank Jay Leno Tonight Show Screengrab 2011 - H
NBC

After months of dealing with the fallout from attending a birthday celebration for Chechnyan dictator Ramzan Kadyrov in October, Hilary Swank says she's learned a valuable lesson -- should pay more attention to where she's going.

She said on the Tonight Show With Jay Leno Friday, "I should know where I'm going. I actually didn't know Chechnya was separate from Russia. Now I know all of that but I had no idea."

Jean-Claude Van Damme and Seal also attended the soiree but it was Swank that came under fire from human rights groups for taking part in the event for a man who has been linked to torture, murder and human-rights abuses.

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Swank donated the fee received for her appearance to charity. She told Jay Leno that the experience also had a positive outcome, "I donated all the money. There's always a silver lining on things and I've learned a lot about the incredible things that people are now doing, like I said, with Human Rights Watch, I'm working closely with them."

Publicity firm 42 West dropped the Million Dollar Baby and Conviction star as a client because she had declined to accept responsibility for the ill-advised trip. She instead fired her manager of eight years, Jason Weinberg, and axed two members of her team at CAA, Amie Yavor and Josh Lieberman, for their role in booking the appearance.