Putin denies his plans to marry gymnast

6:57 AM

From: Perthnow website powered by the Sunday Times NEWSPAPER

From correspondents in Moscow

April 18, 2008 07:00pm

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin has denied media reports that he was about to marry Russian Olympic gymnast Alina Kabayeva.

News media and internet sites had reported that Putin had secretly divorced his wife, Lyudmila, and planned to marry the 24-year-old gymnast.

"In what you said, there is not one word of truth,'' Putin said when asked about the reports by a journalist at a news briefing with Italy's Prime Minister-elect Silvio Berlusconi.

Putin, 55, has cultivated a tough-guy, manly image during his eight years in the Kremlin, posing for photos aboard fighter jets, firing weapons, fighting black-belt judo and fishing bare-chested in the Siberian wilderness.

And from The Times of India online
Russian tabloid apologises for Putin's wedding report

18 Apr 2008, 1634 hrs IST,PTI
MOSCOW: The Russian tabloid Moskovsky Korrespondent on Friday apologised for carrying a report that President Vladimir Putin is to marry a gymnast, saying "there is no factual base for our publication". ( Watch: Russian tabloid apologies for Putin wedding report )

The tabloid accepted that it cannot substantiate its own report on Putin's "wedding with a famous gymnast" and apologised for the "moral pain" inflicted to the persons concerned.

In its weekend issue, the tabloid, specialising on spicy gossip about celebrities, had reported about 55-year-old Putin's plans to wed former Olympic gymnast Alina Kabayeva (25) on June 15.

Moskovsky Korrespondent had also claimed that the Russian leader had divorced his wife Lyudmila back in February, although on March 2 they were publicly seen together at the polling station to cast their vote for the presidential election.

"In our matter only some rumours and some facts, which we presumed substantiate these rumours, were reflected. To say, there is no factual base for our publication. We accept this.

"We deeply regret if the information published in our article was found by its heroes as insulting. We apologise to all those, who consider that this story has caused them moral sufferings," Moskovsky Korrespondent on Friday wrote in its front-page editorial.

Earlier, Kabayeva, a member of the State Duma (lower house of Russian Parliament), through her press spokesperson Elisaveta Ovchinnikova, had categorically denied the report and had demanded the tabloid issue a denial or face libel charges.

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