WASHINGTON — The U.S. Embassy in Moscow has complained to the Russian Foreign Ministry about a sex tape that U.S. officials call a smear of an American diplomat.
The State Department is calling the video that appeared on a Russian Web site a fabricated montage that includes some real footage of Kyle Hatcher, a married diplomatic liaison to Russian religious and human rights groups.
"Mr. Hatcher has been the subject of a smear campaign in the Russian press and on the Internet to discredit him and his work," said State Department spokesman Ian Kelly. "We deplore this type of smear campaign."
The video shows Hatcher making telephone calls on a darkened street. Then it cuts to a hotel room, where Hatcher can be seen in a hotel room, apparently from a hidden camera. Later, the video appears to show a man and a woman having sex in the same room with the lights off. It is not clear that man is Hatcher.
In an interview recorded with ABC News, U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle blamed the Russian government.
"Clearly the video we saw was a montage of lot of different clips, some of them which are clearly fabricated," he said. "We had our security office back in Washington take a look at that and they are convinced Kyle has done nothing wrong. I have full confidence in him and he is going to continue his work here at the embassy."