Jennifer Lopez has had to apologise for serenading a repressive president for his birthday after she performed in Turkmenistan on Saturday.
J.Lo sparked controversy after singing 'Happy Birthday' to Turkmenistan leader Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov at a concert in the former Soviet country on Saturday night, but insists she wasn't aware that Reporters Without Borders ranks it as the third most repressive place in the world, with a spokesperson telling the Sunday Telegraph: 'Had there been knowledge of human rights issues any kind, Jennifer would not have attended.'
Lopez was reportedly paid a lot of money to perform at the event and personally serenade the country's leader, whose government is accused of arbitrarily arresting and torturing political dissidents. Human Rights Watch have described the country as 'among the most repressive in the world.' The Human Rights Foundation president Thor Halvorssen released a statement saying: '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.'
Jennifer's choreographer, J. R. Taylor, tweeted before the concert: 'The Turkmenistan breeze feels amazing at night, kidz! I wonder were all my Turkmenistan followers are!? Hit me up!'
Several of his followers informed him that Twitter is banned in the country but he later added:
— J.R. Taylor (@Didntinviteme) June 29, 2013