Following up on a prank in which singer Elton John was fooled into thinking he had received a phone call from Vladimir Putin, the Russian president placed an actual phone call to John, The Washington Post reports.
“Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, told reporters on Thursday that the Russian leader had called Elton John after attending a meeting in a cornfield in southern Russia,” The Post reports.
The singer has been an outspoken advocate for gay rights, and has criticized the Putin regime’s anti-gay policies.
Putin reportedly expressed sympathy toward John for the prank, perpetrated by two Russian TV personalities. According to Peskov, Putin told the singer: “I know that those phone pranksters fooled you. Please don’t be angry with them.”
Peskov added: “Putin also said that he understands how popular Elton John is, so if their schedules permit, he will be willing to meet him in the future and discuss any issues that he is concerned about.”
The Post report adds: “John has challenged other politicians accused of homophobia, and he got into a spat this year with the right-wing mayor of Venice, where the singer and his husband own a home.”