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'Loyal Mama' Elizabeth Hurley Dons Dress Said Designed By Ramzan Kadyrov' s Wife

  • Tom Balmforth

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov (left) with actress Elizabeth Hurley and a white kitten in 2013.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov (left) with actress Elizabeth Hurley and a white kitten in 2013.

MOSCOW -- What could Elizabeth Hurley, Catherine of Aragon, and Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov possibly have in common?

Here's what: In a photograph of the British actress playing the Tudor-era queen for her son's school project, she wears a jade green dress apparently designed by Kadyrov's wife. Hurley was pictured in the same gown in a photograph with Kadyrov during a visit to Chechnya in 2013.

In the new photograph, posted on social networks on March 29, Hurley holds a cross and wears a tiara in addition to the green gown.

She posted the picture with the hashtag "#loyal mama."

Hurley made no mention of the origins of the dress, although judging by Kadyrov's Instagram account, she appears to have obtained it during her controversial trip to Chechnya in May 2013.

During that trip, Kadyrov posted a photograph of himself next to Hurley, who is wearing the same jade green flowing national costume -- but with her head covered by a white hijab, and no cross in her hands.

Attempts by RFE/RL on March 30 to reach a representative of Hurley via contacts on her website were unsuccessful.

Hurley came under fire for the trip to Chechnya, where she was photographed in the company of Ramzan Kadyrov and French actor Gerard Depardieu apparently preparing to shoot a film. Some observers accused the actress of implicitly supporting Kadyrov, who has kept a lid on the Islamist insurgency in Chechnya at the cost of what critics describe as widespread human rights abuses and a stifling atmosphere of fear.

Kadyrov has been criticized in recent months for a series of threatening statements directed at Russia's political opposition, which observers see as an effort to show loyalty to President Vladimir Putin, and relatives of slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov want him questioned over the killing outside the Kremlin in February 2015.

Kadyrov's term as head of Chechnya expires next week, but Putin has decreed that he remain in the post and asked him to run for a new term in a September election.

At one point during Hurley's trip in 2013, Kadyrov posted a photograph of the two of them cuddling with a white kitten, though there were signs it could have been doctored.

In a caption to accompany the photograph of Hurley in green national costume, Kadyrov said it had been designed by his wife, Medni Kadyrova, and her clothing brand Firdaws, which makes traditional Muslim dress.

Kadyrov wrote: "Chechen fashion and trade house Firdaws needs no advertising as it has already been for several years a global brand recognized by the very best models in the world. But nonetheless, it is nice that famous actress and super model Elizabeth Hurley, the face of the Estee Lauder company, came away not only satisfied but delighted by Firdaws attire."

At the end of that post, he wrote: "And in the future, she [Hurley] not only intends to be a constant star client))), but also ordered Chechen national dress for her son."

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    Tom Balmforth

    Tom Balmforth covers Russia and other former Soviet republics. He can be reached at


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