Putin Tells Oliver Stone: I'd Thwart Gay Men in the Shower With My Judo Skills

'Well, I prefer not to go to the shower with him,' Russia's leader reportedly tells the American filmmaker. 'Why provoke him? But you know, I'm a judo master'

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Haaretz
A poster featuring the front of the book 'Judo with Vladimir Putin' at the Leipzig Book Fair in Leipzig, Germany, March 23, 2017.
A poster featuring the front of the book 'Judo with Vladimir Putin' at the Leipzig Book Fair in Leipzig, Germany, March 23, 2017.Credit: Jan Woitas/AP
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Haaretz

Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested to Oliver Stone that he would use his judo skills if a gay man approached him in the shower, Newsweek reported on Wednesday.

The American filmmaker met Putin, a judo black belt, in the Kremlin in Moscow for a two-part interview that the report said "is already receiving negative reviews for its apparently fawning tone."

Responding to a question posed by Stone about anti-LGBT legislation in Russia, the president reportedly said that "there are no restrictions whatsoever" on homosexuals in his country.

Stone then asked Putin how he would feel about showering next to a gay man on board a submarine.

"Well, I prefer not to go to the shower with him," Putin was quoted as saying. "Why provoke him? But you know, I’m a judo master."

According to the report, Putin also told the filmmaker that because he is "not a woman" he does not "have bad days."

"I am not trying to insult anyone," the president reportedly said. "That’s just the nature of things. There are certain natural cycles."

Putin has come under fire numerous times for Russia's poor record on LGBT rights. In 2013, the so-called homosexual propaganda bill was passed, which in effect bans gay rights rallies and could be used to prosecute anyone actively supporting them.

In April, the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported that about 100 men suspected of being gay were rounded up and tortured by Chechen authorities, and that at least three were killed.

The round-ups and killings reportedly started after a Moscow-based gay rights group began applying for permits to hold pride parades in the Muslim-majority northern Caucus region.

Western governments and rights groups have urged Russian authorities to investigate.

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