Jennifer Lopez has been under fire for singing a birthday song to Turkmenistan leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, who is known for many human rights violations, but now JLo’s team is busy doing damage control.
The 43-year-old pop star was in the former Soviet bloc country on Saturday June 29, and sang “Happy Birthday” to dictator Berdimuhamedow during an event hosted by the China National Petroleum Corp. JLo was then criticized for supporting someone who had a notorious history with human rights violations.
Thor Halvorssen of the Human Rights Foundation told the Hollywood Reporter: “Lopez obviously has the right to earn a living performing for the dictator of her choice and his circle of cronies. But her actions utterly destroy the carefully crafted message she has cultivated with her prior involvement with Amnesty International’s programs in Mexico aimed at curbing violence against women.”
Now, JLo’s team is owning up for the mistake with her manager Benny Medina telling TMZ that JLo was not in Turkmenistan to perform for the President, but for a corporate concert for the China National Petroleum Corp, where she sang three songs. But Medina claims JLo was “ambushed” into singing a birthday song for the president when someone asked Medina if JLo could come back stage to wish Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow him happy birthday.
Medina says it was he who decided that JLo could sing for the man, explaining that none of them knew the president would be attending the concert.
Photos by: Nikki Nelson/FayesVision/WENN.com