JK Rowling has been pranked by Russian hoaxers who fooled her into thinking she was talking to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on a Zoom call.

The multi-millionaire author was tricked by Vovan and Lexus, a comedy duo from Russia who are famous for performing prank phone calls and impersonating famous people. 

The duo, who have previously pranked the likes of Boris Johnson, Priti Patel, Prince Harry and Elton John, tricked the Harry Potter author into thinking she was speaking to President Zelensky about her charity work in the country.

However, during their 12 minute call, things went sideways as the pair made fun of her and asked increasingly bizarre questions. 

Among this was a joke saying soldiers in the country are writing ‘Avada Kedavra’ on missiles bound for pro-Putin regions.

During the call the impersonator also asked her if one her literary creations, Albus Dumbledore, was gay.

In a video shared online, the prankster said: ‘By the way, I ordered that our fighters write ‘Avada Kedavra’ on the missiles that we will launch in Donetsk and Luhansk, so how do you like this joke?’

In her Harry Potter fantasy series ‘Avada Kedavra’ is a dangerous spell designed to kill the person it is aimed towards. 

Video shows JK Rowling being pranked by a pair of Russian comedians who tricked her into thinking she was speaking to Ukrainian President Voldoymyr Zelensky

Video shows JK Rowling being pranked by a pair of Russian comedians who tricked her into thinking she was speaking to Ukrainian President Voldoymyr Zelensky

In response the author said: ‘I love the joke, I love the joke, I really do.’

The hoaxers then add: ‘Finally, tell me a secret, I am interested as your fan, is Dumbledore gay? I won’t tell anyone, and who did he sleep with?’

This prompts the author to say smile, and say: ‘I said in 2007 that I always saw Dumbledore as gay.’

It is not known when the prank took place, although video showing the hoax call was posted on YouTube on June 17. 

A spokesperson for the author told The Hollywood Reporter the deception was ‘distasteful’. 

They said: ‘JK Rowling was approached to talk about her extensive charitable work in Ukraine, supporting children and families who have been affected by the current conflict in the region. 

‘The video, which has been edited, is a distorted representation of the conversation.’

Vovan and Lexus have form for pranking celebrities and prominent figures, including British politicians such as Boris Johnson and Ben Wallace, but No10 has insisted they are linked to the Kremlin.

The videos are presented as being from the self-styled pranksters Vladimir 'Vovan' Kuznetsov (pictured right) and Alexei 'Lexus' Stolyarov (pictured left)

The videos are presented as being from the self-styled pranksters Vladimir ‘Vovan’ Kuznetsov (pictured right) and Alexei ‘Lexus’ Stolyarov (pictured left)

The pair pranked the Harry Potter author into thinking she was talking to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (pictured left). The pair have previously tricked people into thinking they were talking to the country's Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal (pictured right)

The pair pranked the Harry Potter author into thinking she was talking to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (pictured left). The pair have previously tricked people into thinking they were talking to the country’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal (pictured right) 

The pair – whose real names are Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov – have openly admitted to being sympathetic to Vladimir Putin and are suspected of being Russian agents, although they deny this. 

Despite denying being a Russian agent, Stolyarov has himself admitted they have their own ‘internal censorship’.

‘We wouldn’t prank Putin,’ he told the Guardian. ‘We don’t want to harm our country. We don’t want unrest here; we don’t want to do anything that would help the enemies of Russia.’

Earlier this year the pair tricked Mr Wallace, who is the Defence Secretary, into thinking he was talking to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in a 10-minute Teams call from the back of his car.

In a grainy teaser clip of the call, Mr Wallace appeared to discuss how the UK had supported Ukraine’s ambitions to become a NATO member in the past but found it was ‘not easy to get other members to agree’.

The MoD has accused Russia of doctoring the footage of Mr Wallace, and attacked the Kremlin for spreading ‘propaganda’ to distract from its atrocities in Ukraine. It refused to comment on the latest video.

The duo also tricked Home Secretary Priti Patel into thinking she was also talking to PM Shmyhal during which she discussed the situation of the war, the refugee crisis and the UK’s support for Ukraine.

The rambling conversation, which appeared to have been doctored, saw one of the pranksters compare the Home Secretary to Margaret Thatcher. 

Russian ‘pranksters’ other victims: Prince Harry, Boris Johnson and Elton John have all fallen for toe-curling hoax calls from same ‘state-sponsored’ pair who conned Ben Wallace and Priti Patel

The Russian pranksters who targeted JK Rowling, Ben Wallace and Priti Patel have claimed a string of other scalps including Prince Harry, Boris Johnson and Elton John. 

The duo, who go by the name of Vovan and Lexus, have a YouTube channel where they share clips of their hoaxes – which often target Kremlin critics. 

The pair – whose real names are Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov – have openly admitted to being sympathetic to Vladimir Putin and are suspected of being Russian agents, although they deny this. 

Here are some of their other successful stunts over the years – 

2020 – Prince Harry reveals his agony about Megxit, says ‘we are completely separate from the majority of my family’ and slams ‘sick’ world leaders over climate change 

Prince Harry opened his heart about Megxit, being more ‘normal’ than other royals and how Donald Trump has ‘blood on his hands’ in two toe-curling phone chats with Stolyarov and Kuznetsov.

The Duke of Sussex insisted he chose to withdraw from royal life to ‘protect my son’ and said ‘we are completely separate from the majority of my family’ in hoax calls that give extraordinary insight into his state of mind as the couple quit in 2020.

When asked about Meghan he admitted candidly that ‘marrying a prince or princess isn’t all it’s made up to be’ and that their new life in Canada is ‘much better’ than serving as senior royals.

Alexei Stolyarov and Vladimir Kuznetsov 'tricked' Prince Harry into believing they were climate change activist Greta Thunberg and her father Svante

Alexei Stolyarov and Vladimir Kuznetsov ‘tricked’ Prince Harry into believing they were climate change activist Greta Thunberg and her father Svante

Harry, who is not believed to have met Greta, also talked about Donald Trump and the world’s ‘sick’ leaders, why he needs to use private jets despite campaigning on climate change and having nothing to do with his uncle Prince Andrew. 

Prince Harry also insisted that his military service had made him ‘more normal than my family would like to believe’. At the time, a spokesman for Harry said they would not comment on the exchanges.

His candid views came during two revealing conversations with hoaxers posing as Swedish climate activist Greta, 17, and her father Svante in calls on New Year’s Eve and January 22.

And even when the chats become bizarre, including when fake ‘Greta’ talks about an arranged marriage to six-year-old Prince George and the need to move penguins to the North Pole, Harry doesn’t appear concerned and keeps chatting.

2020 – Pranksters posing once again as Greta offer to endorse Bernie Sanders in ‘a cool rap video’ with Billie Eilish and Kanye West

The pranksters called US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders pretending to be climate activist Greta Thunberg and offered Thunberg’s support to his campaign.

The call itself took place in early December, but the duo decided to release it more than two months later because of Sanders’ success in Iowa and New Hampshire, Kuznetsov said.

In the recording, an unnamed female pretends to be Greta, and Stolyarov plays her father, Svante.

They offer to lend support to the campaign of a man who identifies himself as Sanders, and the man welcomes it.

Bernie Sanders is seen in an animation that accompanied the prank phone call, in which the pair - posing as Greta - offered to 'endorse' him

Bernie Sanders is seen in an animation that accompanied the prank phone call, in which the pair – posing as Greta – offered to ‘endorse’ him 

Sanders suggests that ‘Greta’ make a statement in his support and that they do an event together when she next comes to the U.S. ‘I would be really appreciative,’ he says.

‘Greta’ then proposes to record ‘a cool rap’ song in support of Sanders together with ‘singer Billie Eilish and rapper Kanye West.’

‘If we want to make the video successful, we need to put there a lot of expensive cars, and girls,’ says ‘Greta’.

‘And you need to wear gold jewelry and chains, it will be nice,’ she adds.

Sanders laughs and says ‘Okay’ as he tries to end the conversation, but the duo says ‘Greta’ is about to visit Russia and needs advice on how to behave there. 

‘Greta’ offers Kamala Harris her backing and says she has ‘dirt’ on Trump 

The pranksters posed again as Greta Thunberg and her father to dupe then vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris and offer her damaging information on President Trump. 

Audio of the phone call, obtained by The Sun, indicated Harris had no idea that she was being duped by the pair. 

‘Congratulations on all your leadership,’ Harris tells the pranksters.

‘I’m so inspired by your courage and your voice.’

In 2020, the pranksters posed again as Greta Thunberg and her father to dupe then vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris and offer her damaging information on President Trump

In 2020, the pranksters posed again as Greta Thunberg and her father to dupe then vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris and offer her damaging information on President Trump

Pair’s other targets, ‘including Erdogan, John McCain and Alexander Lukashenko’ 

The Russian duo have also claimed to have interviewed Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and US Senator John McCain. 

In 2016, they claimed to have tricked Recep Tayyip Erdogan by posing as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk. 

Erdogan reportedly ‘Poroshenko’ his ‘dear friend’ before pranksters and Erdogan discussed building a ‘dialogue’ between the two countries and coordinating sanctions against Russia. 

There have been allegations that Stolyarov and Kuznetsov use editing software to simulate conversations that never took place.  

‘Greta’ then tells the senator: ‘Umm, it would be cool to support you in your campaign. What is the best way to do it?’

Harris – who is now US vice president, says: ‘The best way to do it would be to talk about my climate plan. 

‘You know what I can do is, I can ask my policy team to follow up with you with more detail on what exactly would be helpful and what is something you would like to do.

‘Then we can talk in more detail about how that can work and that would be very helpful, and I thank you for that.’

When ‘Greta’ and ‘her father’ tell Harris that they’ve written letters to ‘many politicians’ but that ‘not many people responded,’ the senator offered sympathy.

‘Well it just highlights the need that we have to be active,’ Harris says.

‘There are forces working against our movement and we have to fight for these things. This is that moment, and you have been a great warrior in this cause.’

The pranksters then appear to try and use their ‘Greta’ persona to goad Harris into criticizing Trump.

‘I am so terrified of what Trump is doing, I cannot even eat or sleep when I see him on TV,’ Harris is told by ‘Greta.’

‘That terrible meeting in the UN building in September, I have nightmares. I saw him in the corridor and shouted to him to sign the Paris climate agreement.

‘He came over and he said softly to me ‘you will never achieve the goal’.’  

2018 – Boris Johnson discusses the UK’s relationship with Russia, the Salisbury attack and reveals his surprise at being told ‘Putin is influencing Jeremy Corbyn’ 

Boris Johnson spent 18 minutes speaking to Stolyarov and Kuznetsov as they pretended to be the Armenian Prime Minister. 

The Foreign Secretary’s long phone call touched on the UK’s relationship with Russia, the nerve agent attack in Salisbury and the Iranian nuclear deal.

Mr Johnson sounded particularly startled when the pranksters claimed Vladimir Putin had revealed he was influencing Jeremy Corbyn.

But he finally rumbled the scam after 18 minutes and terminated the call.

He did not reveal any sensitive information and spoke in similar terms as in media interviews.

The call on May 8, which was connected by Foreign Office staff, eventually ended abruptly but pranksters successfully reaching the Foreign Secretary has raised security questions from critics of Mr Johnson.

At the time, a senior diplomatic source said it was ‘tragic’ Russia had been reduced to high school pranks.

Boris Johnson was pranked by Stolyarov and Kuznetsov while he was serving as Foreign Secretary. He discussed the UK's relationship with Russia, the nerve agent attack in Salisbury and the Iranian nuclear deal

Boris Johnson was pranked by Stolyarov and Kuznetsov while he was serving as Foreign Secretary. He discussed the UK’s relationship with Russia, the nerve agent attack in Salisbury and the Iranian nuclear deal

2015 – Elton John is tricked into thinking he is talking about gay rights with President Putin 

During the phone call, Sir Elton can be heard saying he had spoken to the President of Ukraine about gay rights, telling him ‘the LGBT population can help boost the economy’.

Sir Elton can be heard telling ‘Putin’ how he would ‘love to sit down and discuss things face to face’ and how he has discussed the LGBT community in Ukraine with President Petro Poroshenko.

Unaware that he had been contacted by the two Russian funnymen, a delighted Sir Elton posted a picture of Putin on his Instagram page thanking him for calling him to discuss gay rights after the call.

The pop star wrote: ‘Thank you to President Vladimir Putin for reaching out and speaking via telephone with me today. I look forward to meeting with you face-to-face to discuss LGBT equality in Russia.’ 

Elton John

The singer took being pranked in good humour, saying the incident had helped to highlight homophobia

Elton John (left) took being pranked in good humour, saying the incident had helped to highlight homophobia 

Sir Elton has accused Putin of saying ‘stupid things’, such as when he warned gay people travelling to the Winter Olympics to ‘leave the children in peace’.

Russia passed a law banning homosexual ‘propaganda’ among children in June 2013, sparking an international outcry.

The country has also banned same-sex marriage and opposes support for equal rights for homosexuals.

Sir Elton said Mr Putin’s attitude to gay people was ‘isolating and prejudiced’ and ‘ridiculous’.    



Post source: Daily mail

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