Russian spy Anna Chapman goes from secret agent to estate agent
Anna Chapman's lawyer yesterday dismissed claims that his client is being held for interrogation by the Russian secret services, instead saying that the red-headed spy is spending time with her family and trying to restart her real estate business.
She has also been invited to the Moscow premiere of Angelina Jolie’s new film, in which the Hollywood star plays a CIA officer accused of spying for Russia.
The Russian media have speculated that Ms Chapman (28), along with nine other spies deported from the US earlier this month, are being held in a secret facility belonging to the SVR, Russia's external intelligence agency, in southern Moscow.
But yesterday Robert Baum, who acted as Ms Chapman's lawyer in the US and says he is still in regular contact with her, claimed that she has had very little contact with Russian authorities since her return to Moscow, and that her energies were focused on her business career.
He also said that Ms Chapman was “particularly upset” that she had been stripped of her British citizenship.
The lawyer also denied that Ms Chapman was planning to sell her story. This is at odds with messages sent to journalists from Ms Chapman, or someone pretending to be her and using her
Facebook account. A clause in Ms Chapman's plea agreement forbids her from making money from selling her story in book or film form, but it is unclear how this would be enforced.
Film star Angelina Jolie, who will be in Moscow this weekend for the premiere of her new film Salt, has invited Ms Chapman to attend the opening and says she would love to meet the spy.
Ms Chapman has also received offers to star in adult films.
She was arrested along with nine other Russians in an FBI swoop in late June. They were swapped in a carefully choreographed handover at Vienna airport with four Russians jailed in Russia for spying for the West.