The lesbian-themed Russian teenage pop duo t.A.T.u. has hit No. 1 with their single 'All The Things She Said' in Austria, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K. The song is at number 30 in the U.S. and No. 13 in Canada.
And the girls managed to get banned by the BBC and Britain's ITV1 in the process.
In the video, Julia Volkova, 18, and Lena Katina, 17, wear school uniforms and passionately kiss and cuddle. British TV hosts Richard and Judy called it 'pedophile porn.'
The Canadian Press wire service said, 'It's enough to make Britney Spears' much-talked-about midriff-baring schoolgirl outfit from the 'Baby One More Time' video look as saucy as bubblegum.'
Asked by a Russian reporter if they are lovers, Volkova teased: 'Maybe and maybe not. You know, we're not going to give a straight answer.'
But Russian journalists told Britain's Sunday Mail on Feb. 9 that both of the girls have boyfriends.
'They've been hiding two boys from their fans,' said reporter Svetlana Makunina from the newspaper Zhizn. 'Their boyfriends are both students who are a little bit older than themselves. Nobody in Russia believes they are lesbians.'
Kevin O'Flynn of the Moscow Times agreed.
'The members of t.A.T.u. are about as lesbian as I am,' he said. 'The story is a load of bull. There hasn't been too much of a fuss in Russia about t.A.T.u.'s claims to be lesbians. I don't think anybody believes it.'
The Sunday Mail said Lena's boyfriend is named Seryozha and Julia's is named Vanya.
'The girls were snapped in [ the ] Moscow nightclub Cloud-B2 with their real male lovers,' the paper said. 'When questioned by Russian gossip writers, they insisted the guys were merely security men.'
't.A.T.u.' is an abbreviated form of the Russian phrase 'that girl loves that girl' ( 'Ta lyubit tu' ) .