Pop star Elton John thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for a phone call earlier this week regarding a future discussion about gay rights, but a Russian prankster is claiming responsibility for the call (video below).
John posted on Instagram on Monday: "Thank-you to President Vladimir Putin for reaching out and speaking via telephone with me today. I look to forward to meeting with you face-to-face to discuss LGBT equality in Russia."
Russian celebrity prankster Vladimir Krasnov told the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda that he and his co-hort, Aleksey Stolyarov, prank called John by pretending to be Putin and his press secretary Dmitry Peskov, notes CNN.
"We thought Putin wouldn't want to meet him or call him at least in the nearest future, but it turned out Elton John's been waiting for such a call," Krasnov stated. "That's why he immediately believed we were exactly those whom we introduced ourselves as."
"Yes, it was us," Krasnov added. "Aleksey speaks perfect English, so he introduced himself as Dmitry Peskov on the phone and translated our conversation. And I was Vladimir Putin."
The real Peskov told the media on Tuesday that Putin did not speak to John, notes Sputnik News, which is run by the Russian government.
Peskov added that Putin has always "been and remains open to discuss any human rights issues, any questions, he is always ready to explain the real situation."
John's reps have not issued any statements.