Sir Elton John was engaged in a bizarre war of words with Vladimir Putin on Tuesday night after the singer publicly thanked the Russian leader for "reaching out" to him to discuss gay rights - but the Kremlin then denied the conversation ever took place.
The veteran rock star said Mr Putin, who recently appeared to equate homosexuality with paedophilia and urged gay people to "leave kids alone", had called him and suggested they might meet.
"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," he wrote on his Instagram account.
However, in a bizarre twist last night, Mr Putin's spokesman rejected the Rocket Man's claim.
"Putin did not have a conversation with Elton John, and most importantly, we did not receive any kind of proposal for a meeting from him," said Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin's spokesman.