J.Lo Has Made $10M Singing for Dictators

Human Rights Foundation uncovers a slew of other instances

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 15, 2013 10:12 AM CDT
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(Newser) – After it came out that Jennifer Lopez scored a big payday to sing happy birthday to Turkmenistan dictator Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov, her rep insisted that had J.Lo known of any "human rights issues," she of course would not have attended the soiree. But the Human Rights Foundation implies that's not the case: The organization says that over the past two years, she's earned more than $10 million performing for "some of the world's worst thugs and their cronies." Or, put another way, "serenading crooks and dictators." (The HRF's nickname for her: "Jenny-from-the-block-who-doesn't-Google," according to the Hollywood Reporter.)

Those serenaded include "corrupt" Uzbek industrialist Azam Aslanov, Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov, Russian oligarch Telman Ismailov, repressive Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev; the list would also have included Russian bureaucrat Alexander Yolkin, but his birthday party had to be canceled after he was arrested. Lopez also allegedly sang in Belarus, Europe's only dictatorship, the Independent reports. Lopez "can hardly claim ignorance of the nature and impact of her actions as she cozies up to dictators and their enablers," says HRF's president. "This is not about ignorance, it’s about greed." (Click for more celebrities who've made big bucks entertaining the bad guys.)

Turkmenistan President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov.
Turkmenistan President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov.   (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Jennifer Lopez performs at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix in March.
Jennifer Lopez performs at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix in March.   (Photo by Rick Scuteri/Invision/AP, file)
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