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Sir Ian McKellen, 83, releases statement after being scammed in 'dirty trick' - details 

The actor posted an explanation on his Twitter account 

ian mckellen hat
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
August 25, 2022
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Sir Ian McKellen has released a statement after revealing that he had been tricked by a prankster in Russia into believing that he was speaking to Ukraine’s President Zelensky. 

MORE: Ian McKellen and Judi Dench landed themselves in trouble at Buckingham Palace

Posting an explanation of what happened on Twitter, the 83-year-old wrote: "I'm not a politician, so I was surprised some weeks ago to receive a message that appeared to come from the Ukrainian Embassy in London, inviting me to participate in a "private discussion with President Zelensky." 

WATCH: Sir Ian stars in The Good Liar 

"I checked with a couple of contacts in Ukraine who encouraged me to take the call. At the appointed time, I found myself chatting, apparently, with the President of Ukraine. As it soon turned out, it was not Zelensky or any Ukrainian official, but one of a pair of Russians who call themselves comedians. I understand they're popular in Russian, which is surprising because their jokes aren't funny."

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Ian opened up about the situation

The Lord of the Rings actor concluded: "I played along with things they suggested but was frankly bewildered that they seemed to think I might be in a position to provide substantial aid to Ukraine. Once I realised it was all just a dirty trick, I declined to cooperate any further." 

READ: Sir Ian McKellen forced to cancel show after he was injured at train station

READ: Ian McKellen reveals awkward reason he turned down Dumbledore role


He posted a statement on Twitter

The star was met with support, with one person commenting: "God, that's wretched. This says a LOT about them & little about you, other than you are an earnest, decent soul who thought you were doing something kind by at least responding to the initial query. Shame on them."

Another person wrote: "I hate that happened to you but it does show how terrible those people are. Thank you for bringing that to light," while a third person added: "How awful. Some people can be so creepy. Sorry that happened." 

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