Elton John (Pic: David Shankbone)
Elton John has responded to the Russian pranksters who called him pretending to be President Putin.
Earlier this week, the singer made global headlines when he claimed on social media that he had promising talks with the Russian leader over the phone about the plight of the country’s LGBT community.
It was later revealed that he had actually been fooled by celebrity pranksters Vovan and Lexus, who recorded the conversation and broadcast it on television.
John took to social media to address the incident on Thursday, posting a picture on Instagram of a bloodied Russian victim of anti-gay violence.
“Pranks are funny. Homophobia, however is never funny,” wrote John. “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.”
He added: “If this unfortunate incident has helped push this vital issue back into the spotlight, then I am happy to be pranked on this occasion.”
President Putin’s office has told the media that he is willing to meet John if a request is made. It is unclear, however, if the star has contacted the Kremlin; Putin is unlikely to response to meeting requests made on social media.