Maybe Vladimir Putin didn’t steal Robert Kraft‘s Super Bowl ring after all.
Now, a Putin spokesperson has denied that Putin kept the ring that Kraft wanted back, according to CNN. Instead, the ring — which Putin said was a gift — is being kept for safekeeping elsewhere.
That doesn’t necessarily make Kraft feel any better, though.
“I really didn’t [want to give up the ring],” Kraft said, according to the New York Post. “I had an emotional tie to the ring. It has my name on it. I don’t want to see it on eBay.”
Kraft said he thought he was just showing the ring around, but Putin’s camp remembers the exchange differently.
“What Mr. Kraft is saying now is weird,” Dmitry Peskov said. “I was standing 20 centimeters away from him and Mr. Putin and saw and heard how Mr. Kraft gave this ring as a gift.”
The 4.94-carat ring in question is in the Kremlin’s library, where all official state gifts are kept, Peskov said. It is worth more than $25,000, according to multiple reports from 2005.
On Sunday, a spokesperson for Kraft released a statement saying that the story is a “humorous anecdote” that Kraft re-tells for laughs.
“He loves that his ring is at the Kremlin and, as he stated back in 2005, he continues to have great respect for Russia and the leadership of President Putin,” the statement said. “In particular, he credits President Putin for modernizing the Russian economy. An added benefit from the attention this story gathered eight years ago was the creation of some Patriots fan clubs in Russia.”
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