Jennifer Lopez has issued an apology to anyone she may have offended when she performed in the developing Asia nation of Turkmenistan. The singer/actress performed a hit-filled private set for the president of the former Soviet republic, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, on his 56th birthday, ending the night with a rendition of 'Happy Birthday Mr President' - a move that has earned her heaps of criticism given the appalling human right record in the dictator-run country.
J-Lo denied any knowledge of the country's past
Turkmenistan is known by the Human Rights Watch as "one of the world's most repressive countries," in which the gas and oil-rich hermit nation is ruled by the cult of Berdymukhamedov, who uses the country's natural resources to make himself and his dignitaries immensely rich, whilst most of the population lives in poverty. J-Lo has since issued an apology for her performance and for the warm reception she gave the president, admitting that had she known about the country's human rights history she would have never agreed to perform their in the first place.
She was recently awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Her statement, obtained by E! News, says the performance was sponsored by "China National Petroleum Corporation that was presented to their local executives in Turkmenistan. [And] was not a government sponsored event or political in nature," going on to add, "The event was vetted by her representatives, had there been knowledge of human rights issues of any kind, Jennifer would not have attended."
The statement goes on to say that the decision to sing happy birthday was also made by CNP, and was only introduced into the set as a last minute change.
This is the latest performance by J-Lo in a former Soviet country, with Jenny from the block also believed to be the first ever western performer to give a concert in the restrictive country. Lopez also performed in Ukraine at the wedding of an Uzbekistan businessman, reportedly earning $1m (£660,000) for the show, as well as for the Azerbaijan-based oligarch Telman Ismailov, reportedly for $1.4m.
J-Lo has made quite a business out of performing in front of oligarchs