I’ve often wondered what happens to a famous singer who suddenly decides they’re running short of money. What to do? Where to go? Who to turn to? How will the bills be paid? What will happen to the chef/driver/nannies/boyfriend (bought, clearly) /lawyer/manager/gardener/food taster etc.?
And then along comes the lovely Jennifer Lopez to answer my question.
You accept an invite from the (assumingly) excellently run, properly accounted for, really good on their employment rights - China National Petroleum Corporation.
They sound nice, right?
And even better, you get a holiday out of it with a nice weekend in the often over looked destination of Turkmenistan. Apparently the weather is nice and balmy, it’s just the human rights that are slightly questionable, but shit happens.
So yes, Jenny from the block (she used to have a little, and now she has a lot apparently) decided that she would love to go along to Turkmenistan (described by Human Rights Watch as "one of the world’s most repressive countries") to sing at a concert where the lovely President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow would also be celebrating his birthday.
But then it turns out that President I-have-a-really-long-name of Turkmenistan is not such a great guy. According to the US State Department, amongst other horrific crimes against its people, "security officials tortured and beat criminal suspects, prisoners, and individuals deemed critical of the government". Whoops. And now J-Lo is facing a little bit of a backlash.
So what better way to solve the issue than release the following statement, which could only completely settle the entire problem and leave absolutely no one wondering how difficult it is to even google someone to check what would be happening.
“The event was vetted by her representatives, had there been knowledge of human rights issues of any kind, Jennifer would not have attended.”
We can all rest easy now that we know her representative are so thorough.
Three other notable singers singing for their soul:
1. Mariah Carey and Beyonce singing at the cheerily sounding serial human rights abuser Muammar Gaddafi New Years Eve party in St Barts in 2009 and 2010. (Sounds like a blast)
2. In 2012, Julio Iglesias performed in Equatorial Guinea for Teodorin Obiang Nguema Manque, a repressive dictator who according to Human Rights Watch "regularly engages in torture and arbitrary detention". He issued a statement in response to being criticised: “When I greet them, I don’t ask them if their husbands are corrupt.” (quite right, who would?)
3. And Sting. You know, the really poor singer who looks like he needs a shower. He sang a few songs for the daughter of the horrendous Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan, who amongst other delightful activities engaged in boiling his opponents alive.