Russian pop diva and Eurovision stalwart Philipp Kirkorov has revealed that he is a supporter of Donald Trump. In an interview with BBC News, the “You Are the Only One” songwriter spoke of his long friendship with the American presidential candidate, and his hope for closer relations between Russia and the United States.
Kirkorov, who represented Russia at Eurovision in 1995, first met Trump in 1994 when Kirkorov and his now ex-wife and Russia’s 1997 Eurovision singer Alla Pugacheva performed at the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City.
Kirkorov told the BBC, “After the show Donald Trump came to our dressing room. We got a big, fantastic gold trophy from him and his organisation for being the first Russian artists to play the Taj Mahal. When Alla and I divorced, I kept the trophy!”
The men’s friendship was strengthened in 2013 when Trump brought the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow, where Kirkorov was one of the judges for the pageant.
Kirkorov spoke positively of a Trump presidency, and the potential for closer relations between the United States and Russia. He said, “If Trump will be President, the relationship between our countries will be much closer. And I pray for that. Because we are two big countries, two big nations. We must be friends.”
Like Trump, Kirkorov has also been at the centre of much controversy. In 2010 he was accused of slapping, dragging and kicking a female assistant when he was unhappy with the lighting at a concert.
Kirkorov initially denied the reports, but later sought a psychiatric assessment in Israel, before releasing a statement saying, “Twice a year I have serious attacks, when I do not remember or understand anything that I do.”
He later returned to Moscow and was declared mentally sound.
Philipp Kirkorov behind the scenes at Eurovision 2016