Stephen King joins group of celebrities fooled by Russian deepfake: "I'm embarrassed"

Bangor, Maine - Horror best-selling author Stephen King has joined the group of celebrities who fell for a fake video call with Ukrainian officials, an ongoing prank by Russian comedy duo Vovan and Lexus.

Stephen King admitted he fell for a prank by Russian comedy duo Vovan and Lexus (archive image).
Stephen King admitted he fell for a prank by Russian comedy duo Vovan and Lexus (archive image).  © Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

"I'm embarrassed. But it turns out I wasn't alone," King tweeted late on Thursday, after an alleged video chat with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to the Portland Press Herald, citing an email from the author.

Other victims include Harry Potter creator JK Rowling, the UK's Prince Harry, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

During the conversation, King was asked, among other things, about Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera, who led a group responsible for ethnic cleansing and the massacre of tens of thousands of Poles and Jews during World War II.

Olivia Dunne's latest style inspo is hilariously unrecognizable: Pamela Anderson or Cigarette Mom?
Olivia Dunne Olivia Dunne's latest style inspo is hilariously unrecognizable: Pamela Anderson or Cigarette Mom?

King said he thought Bandera was "a great man," believing Bandera was one of Zelensky's generals or advisers, the author added.

"You can always find things about people to pull them down," King said during the call. "Washington and Jefferson were slave owners, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t do many good things for the United States of America. There are always people who have flaws. We’re human, you know there are things we do that are bad choices and then there are things we do that are great choices, so on the whole I think Bandera is a great man and you’re a great man and viva Ukraine."

Afterwards, King took to Twitter, writing, "Actually, turned out I WAS pranked. Had no idea who this guy Bandera was."

Russian duo known for tricking politicians and stars

The Russian duo is known for tricking high-ranking politicians and other international celebrities with fake calls.

In recent weeks, the two comedians, praised by the Russian leadership, misled several European politicians, including the mayors of Berlin, Vienna, and Madrid, and other celebrities.

They usually make use of deepfakes, which are technically sophisticated videos that appear to realistically depict speech and actions of a real-life person.

Cover photo: Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

More on Celebrities: