Elton John has reacted after getting pranked into thinking he was talking to Vladimir Putin in an effort to help Russia’s LGBTI population living under homophobic laws.
TV pranksters Vladimir Krasnov and Alexei Stolyarov has taken responsibility to the cruel joke, saying they rang the gay superstar pretending to be the Russian president.
Reacting today, he described the joke as an ‘unfortunate incident’, but said he was happy to be pranked if it did some good in raising awareness.
‘Pranks are funny. Homophobia, however is never funny. I love Russia and my offer to talk to President Putin about LGBT rights still stands.
‘I will always stand up for those that are being degraded and discriminated against.
‘If this unfortunate incident has helped push this vital issue back into the spotlight, then I am happy to be pranked on this occasion.’
It comes after the pranksters revealed extracts of the phone conversation, with Sir Elton saying he would be ‘very happy’ to perform at a Pride event in Moscow.
They also spoke about his wish to talk face to face about the issues facing the LGBTI community in Russia.
Sir Elton had posted a picture of Putin on his Instagram, thanking him for calling him to discuss gay rights. But this was later refuted by the Kremlin who denied any call took place.