Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pugachyova Sings Out Against Media

The queen of Russian crooners has promised to be as vocal in 1997 as in all the years that made her the country's most famous pop star. But this time, instead of singing to bewitched audiences, Alla Pugachyova, doyenne of the estrada, has vowed to sing morals to media.

"I want to call on everyone to fight against immorality, against murderous obscenity," she told the popular daily Moskovsky Komsomolets. "I'm prepared to sink into this baseness and dirt to destroy it at the beginning of the decay, before it turns into a parasite."

Never known for her demureness, Pugachyova's private life as well as her career have been the subject of gossip and speculation ever since her first hit dazzled fans more than 20 years ago.

Today, however, Pugachyova says the media's liberties have reached new depths that can only be saved by an active and vocal campaign.

"In show business there was always a spirit of scandal. But now it's not a spirit but dirt and a stench." she said, referring to the "deliberate and aggressive debilitation of society, which pours unpunished lies out of the screen and newspaper pages and leads our 13- to 15-year-olds on a wave of moral deformity."

According to the alleged offenders, however, Pugachyova's interests have nothing to do with the good of society but revolve solely around her own ego.

"It's very simple," said Sergei Nikitin, deputy editor of the weekly Express Gazeta. "Pugachyova is a has-been. Nobody is interested in her any more, and she wants to draw some attention to herself."

After selling millions of albums, the singer left the stage in 1995 to devote more time to business and later to rally behind Our Home Is Russia and President Boris Yeltsin in the 1996 elections.

Express Gazeta, which claims to have a circulation of 600,000, recently published rumors that pop singer Tatiana Bulanova called Pugachyova "an old whore," as well as speculation that her husband, Filipp Kirkorov, is homosexual, as well as a number of unflattering photographs.

"Of course this wasn't based on fact," Nikitin said. "But we made it clear that these were only 'possibilities.' She has made no official complaint and has no grounds to sue us. If she tries and gets anywhere, then we'll take the case to the human rights court in Holland. This is question of press freedoms, and we set our guidelines around international papers such as the British Sun."

"Alla's whole campaign is against people who don't deserve to be called journalists; they're criminals," Kirkorov, 27, a pop star in his own right, said in a telephone interview, Friday. "I know they have freedom of the press in the United States, but they never slander famous stars. Alla is the only person in Russia who lives by international standards, and if she doesn't start this campaign, nobody will. She's the only real star that people will listen to."

"I would never have reacted at all if they hadn't slandered a woman -- if they had not slandered my wife," Kirkorov said.

Insisting that personal attacks leave him unfazed and that denying media lies only draws attention to them, Kirkorov said he was nevertheless completely behind his wife.

But Pugachyova's specific plan of attack remains a mystery, with Kirkorov refusing to discuss it, and Pugachyova, who was recording in Tver, unavailable for comment Friday.