Vitaliy Grechin, 41, is being held behind bars after he caused a furor in the United Arab Emirates by sharing the racy images to Instagram, the Daily Mail reported.
“When people make a mistake and apologize for it, it has to be taken as that,” Grechin said.
“Clearly, there was no intent to offend anybody. Clearly, they were not climbing a mosque naked.”
Grechin — a property tycoon who has reportedly been seen eating with George Clooney and posing with Hillary Clinton — said it was a “spur of the moment decision” for the roughly 20 women to be photographed nude with the city’s skyscrapers in the backdrop.
“It happened within a minute. One girl said ‘I’m going to take a picture,’ and then it was ‘Me too,’ ‘Me too,’ ‘Me too,’” he said.
“It was a passionate decision to take a photo which wouldn’t show their private parts,” he added.
He argues that the controversial snaps would be considered “art” elsewhere.
“It’s not porn. Everywhere else in the world it would be considered normal. In magazines it would be considered art… it was a unique shot,” he said.
Grechin also denied that he had planned the stunt that made international headlines, though he acknowledged that he flew the women and a photographer on the all-expenses trip to Dubai.
“It’s the equivalent of going out to a club or for dinner. There was no escorting, selling, buying, none of that,” he said.
Grechin said he and some of the women were detained on suspicion of prostitution and pornography.
But he claimed the case has been dropped since there’s no evidence of either.
He said he was set to be released from jail last week, but then he tested positive for COVID-19.
“I have a paper from the prosecutor saying we have no evidence that you did anything wrong,” Grechin said, the outlet reported. “But I am still in custody and cannot leave the room I am in.”