Elton John is facing a lawsuit from a songwriter who has accused the star of stealing lyrics for his song Nikita.

Photojournalist/songwriter Guy Hobbs has filed a lawsuit at federal court in Illinois, stating he wrote a song called Natasha, about his affair with a Russian cruise ship waitress, back in 1982.

He alleges Elton's 1985 chart hit - with lyrics by the Rocket Man's long-term collaborator Bernie Taupin - bears significant similarities to his own track, which was copyrighted and distributed to multiple publishing companies, including Big Pig which handles the superstar's songs, several years earlier.

Hobbs is suing for copyright infringement and demanding unspecified damages, according to TMZ.com.