Credit: Frederick M. Brown/ Getty Images Photo: Karina Smirnoff Gets Leggy

Is Dancing with the Stars pro Karina Smirnoff really going to pose nude in May’s issue of Playboy or not? And if she is, did she even know about it? It’s been more than 24 hours since Hugh Hefner boasted on Twitter, “@hughhefner: The May issue of Playboy is unforgettable with Dancing With The Stars' Karina Smirnoff on the cover & nude inside,” yet there’s still no confirmation from anyone.

We all know Hef has a penchant for bragging about conquests that may or may not have actually happened in real life, so we reached out to ABC, to Karina’s manager, to her publicist — as well as to Hef himself — with one simple question: “Will Karina Smirnoff be nude in the May edition of Playboy?” The response? Total silence — aside from frightened-sounding requests that we put the innocent question in an email. We did that too, and got only more silence. So, what’s everyone so afraid of?

So we got to speculating: Why can’t anyone tell us whether or not the DWTS delight will be gracing Playboy in her birthday suit? The answer is yes or no, right? Not necessarily. We took another look at Hef’s tweet. He only says she’ll be in Playboy, naked. He never suggests that she even once posed for Playboy, or that she ever did a photo shoot for it.

So, curious fans that we are — of DWTS, not of Playboy! — we followed up our initial inquiries with one more simple question to ABC, Hefner’s team, and Karina’s rep. That question was: “Did Hugh Hefner purchase nude photos of Karina from a third party without her knowledge?”

Aaaaand we’re still waiting for an answer — or a denial from Hefner, who’s always been such a class act. Did the aging mogul pull the trigger too soon on this one, only to find himself in a protracted battle with Karina and ABC’s dedicated legion of lawyers? Stay tuned!

UPDATE: 4/11/11: Hef responds to Wetpaint. He says Karina posed for the cover. More here.