Flash, gossip column of The Daily, reports that Putin's long-suffering wife "hasn't been seen in public" since a June trip to Scotland and England:
"A new rumor is spreading through his cabinet that she is locked away in a psych ward somewhere outside of Moscow," one Russian society source told Flash. "Blogs in Russia have claimed he divorced her years ago, but keeps her around for twice-a-year dog-and-pony shows."
Our Moscow mouthpiece added that Putin's alleged extramarital affairs have led some in his cabinet to compare him to Ivan the Terrible, Russia's brutal 16th-century czar who went through seven consorts, some of whom were either murdered or sent to convents when they displeased him.
Given escalating outrage over Putin's ongoing autocratic rule, I wouldn't be surprised if the rumor mill was in overdrive. I also wouldn't be surprised if a corrupt, power-hungry, virility-obsessed megalomaniac like Putin turned out to be a monstrous control freak in his personal life, too. So, pick your poison, I guess. And I mean that literally. [The Daily, image via Getty]