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Femme Fatale Chapman Fears Deportation

Published: July 6, 2010 (Issue # 1589)



  • A photo of Chapman and her ex-husband on the front page of a British paper.
    Photo: Luke Macgregor / Reuters

NEW YORK The Russian diplomats daughter accused of being a spy is embarrassed by photos of her that have turned up in media reports and fears that she will be deported, her lawyer said.

Attorney Robert Baum said he showed Anna Chapman, 28, some of the tabloid newspaper stories that have branded the redhead as a femme fatale and feature photographs from her Facebook page, showing the smiling Russian enjoying Manhattans nightlife scene, posing in front of the Statue of Liberty and mixing with businessmen at a conference.

She was embarrassed by some of the photos that were obviously taken from her Facebook pages, the lawyer said. The truth is shes probably no different than your typical single 28-year-old woman in New York City. She runs a successful business, goes out at night. She dates men, enjoys a social life.

Chapman is charged with conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of a foreign government, which carries a potential penalty of five years in prison.

Baum said Chapmans father told her to go to police with a fake passport an undercover FBI agent had given to her, leading to her arrest and solitary confinement. He said he may use that information to appeal the bail decision.

At a bail hearing last Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Farbiarz said only that investigators on June 27 intercepted phone calls in which Chapman was talking to a man who is advising her, who is telling her essentially to make up a story, to say that shes being intimidated, that this might be some other criminal activity, and who advises her to get out of the country and to go to the police.

Baum said he believed that the phone calls cited by prosecutors were conversations between Chapman and her father, whom Baum described as a low-level embassy employee whose family was middle class.

Baum said Chapman told him that she reached out to her father, Vasily Kushchenko, a day after an FBI agent posing as a Russian consulate employee asked her to deliver a fraudulent passport to an alleged spy.

She spoke to her father, and her father said, Go turn the passport in, Baum said. Her father said, Youve got this passport. Its forged. Go turn it into the police, and thats exactly what she did.

Yusill Scribner, a spokeswoman for federal prosecutors in Manhattan, declined to comment.

Baum discounted published reports Friday quoting Chapmans ex-husband as saying her father is a spy.

I wont go into the circumstances of divorce, but he may be somewhat bitter about it, Baum said.

Her ex-husband, Alex Chapman, told Londons Daily Telegraph that he had not been surprised to learn that his former wife had been arrested.

Towards the end of our marriage she became very secretive, going for meetings on her own with Russian friends, and I guess it might have been because she was in contact with the Russian government, he was quoted as saying in a Friday article.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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