Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was recently duped into holding a video call with who she thought was Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky but was actually a Russian prankster, video shared on YouTube showed.
In the more than 12-minute video version of the call, the fake Zelensky asks Rowling a series of increasingly bizarre questions, including whether a Russian actor in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore can be sanctioned. The author responds that she'll "see what we can do."
The fake Zelensky goes on to suggest he wants a role in the future Harry Potter films and claims he has ordered Ukrainian fighters to write "Avada Kedavra" on missiles, an idea Rowling says she loves, and he asks her to confirm that Dumbledore is gay. The fake Zelensky also references Rowling's anti-trans tweets controversy by saying he hopes Dumbledore hasn't slept with "a transgender person," to which Rowling laughs. By the end of the call, the fake Zelensky puts three people on video who are wearing a shirt that says "only Putin."
Rowling was just the latest to fall victim to such a prank after Russian pranksters in May claimed to have duped former President George W. Bush, and in 2020, Russian pranksters reportedly duped Prince Harry into thinking he was talking with Greta Thunberg.
A spokesperson for Rowling told The Washington Post the prank was "distasteful" and that the video "is a distorted representation of the conversation."