Russian spy resurfaces in erotic photo-shoot: report
Flame-haired and squeezed into a body-hugging cocktail dress, Russian spy Anna Champan has emerged from the shadows in an erotic photo-shoot and walked straight into a new scandal, reports said Friday.
The glamorous Chapman, 28, was at the centre of the biggest spy crisis between the United States and Russia since the Cold War as one of the US-based "sleeper" agents who last month were exchanged in a dramatic spy swap.
Aside from some enigmatic messages on Facebook, she disappeared from sight after her return to Moscow in the swap with reports saying she was subjected to a lengthy debriefing from the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).
But newspaper tabloid newspaper Tvoi Den and popular website Lifenews published a half dozen pictures of Chapman it said were taken on July 25 in a photo shoot for its sister publication, Zhara magazine.
Chapman is shown in a room at a five star Moscow hotel posing by a window with a Kremlin view, leaning provocatively against the wall in a ultra-tight blue dress and pensively sucking a pair of sunglasses.
The reports said publication of the photos had been put off until autumn with the participants agreed that nothing would be released until then to create the maximum impact.
It said that in line with instructions from the SVR, there was no interview to accompany the photos.
However the pictures were published on Chapman's Facebook page and then by tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda. Zhara magazine said it would take her to court to ensure that its rights to the pictures were respected.
"The photographs published by Anna Chapman on Facebook and Komsomolskaya Pravda were taken at a hotel during a photo session for Zhara magazine," its chief editor Maksim Korshunov told Tvoi Den.
"In line with the law, our publisher is going to court to protect its violated rights," he added.
Chapman, in a curt message on her Facebook page, insisted she could do what she liked with the images.
"The new pictures published today in Internet were made for my personal use and people that publish/print/sell those have no rights to them," she said. However the pictures had been removed Friday morning.
Little is known about how Chapman has spent her time in the one-and-a-half months since she returned to Russia but she did join the other nine agents deported from the United States in a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
© 2010 AFP