Celebrated martial arts star Steven Seagal, who was born in Lansing, Michigan and became a Russian citizen, has been appointed special representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry in charge of the Russian-US humanitarian ties, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on its Facebook page.
Seagal’s mother was of Dutch, English, and German ancestry, while his paternal grandparents were Russian Jews who immigrated to the US. He also claims to have some Mongol heritage. Seagal is a Buddhist.
“Steven Seagal was appointed as the Russian Foreign Ministry’s special representative for Russian-US humanitarian ties,” the ministry announced. “The task is to facilitate relations between Russia and the United States in the humanitarian field, including cooperation in culture, the arts, public and youth exchanges, and so on.”
Seagal faced a string of sexual harassment and assault lawsuits, starting in the early 1990s and going all the way to January 2018, several of which were settled out of court.
In 1999, Seagal was awarded a PETA Humanitarian Award.
Seagal, who holds a dual citizenship of the US and Russia, is known for his support of Vladimir Putin, to whom he once referred as “one of the greatest living world leaders.”