An international sized case of he-said-she-said has broken out between two of the most unlikely sources imaginable – the powerful Russian President and a revered pop star.
On Monday, Elton John said he and macho-man Vladimir Putin had a phone conversation that the singer said was initiated by the President.
However, a spokesperson for Mr Putin was quick to deny those reports.
“Thank-you to President Vladimir Putin for reaching out and speaking via telephone with me today,” John wrote on Instagram on Monday.
“I look to forward to meeting with you face-to-face to discuss LGBT equality in Russia.”
Putin’s press secretary, Dmitri S. Peskov, responded on Tuesday and said Mr Putin had never spoken to the pop star, reported Fairfax.
“This does not correspond to reality. There was no conversation,” said Mr Peskov.
He added that the Kremlin could not be sure the Instagram account is John’s. However the blue certified tick accompanying the account would suggest it is.
Mr Peskov also reportedly indicated Mr Putin would be open to discussion about everything with the singer.
There has been speculation that John was the subject of a prank call. John was in Ukraine recently to talk with its President Petro Poroshenko to discuss gay rights.
During the chat, Mr John said of Mr Putin, “I’d love to sit down with him and talk to him.” He added, “The world faces much bigger problems than gay people.”
But after it’s publication, Mr Peskov said there was no meeting planned with Mr Putin.
“Taking into account that there are many insinuations of late, we regard such information with extreme caution,” he said.
Russia has been notorious for drawing criticism from human rights bodies, over its legislation that restricts “gay propaganda” and the activities of gay advocacy organisations.