Spy Unhappy Britain Rejected Her
- The Associated Press
- Jul. 23 2010 00:00
- Last edited 17:15
NEW YORK — Anna Chapman, the redheaded Russian spy whose photographs made her a tabloid favorite, is upset that the Britain has revoked her citizenship, her lawyer said.
Attorney Robert Baum said Chapman, 28, also refused to let him send along a request from an adult movie company to appear in a film.
"They sent an e-mail with a letter. She didn't even want me to forward it," Baum said Wednesday. "She didn't even want to consider the offer."
He did pass along notification to Chapman from Britain that her citizenship had been revoked and that she would not be permitted to enter the country. He said the citizenship decision can be appealed but it would be three years before she could apply again to re-enter England, where she has spent much of the last nine years.
"She's particularly upset" at the rejection, Baum said. "It was disappointing to learn she can't go back."
Baum said he has communicated regularly with Chapman by e-mail as he tries to return her belongings following her deportation two weeks ago. She was required to leave the country along with nine other Russian spies immediately after they pleaded guilty to working as unregistered agents for Russia while living seemingly quiet lives in the United States.
Baum said he visited her nearly every day while she sat alone in a prison cell for 10 days after her June 27 arrest.
He said reports that she was trying to sell her story to make money were false.
"She has not been shopping her story. She has not granted any interviews. She has not hired an agent," Baum said.
He said she read one report that she was selling her story and told him that it was an "absolute lie."
Chapman became a tabloid darling three weeks ago as photographs gleaned from the Internet showed the smiling Russian enjoying Manhattan's nightlife, posing in front of the Statue of Liberty and mixing with businessmen at a conference. Later, several pictures showing her naked were published.
Her popularity has flooded Baum's e-mail address with requests from journalists in the United States and Britain who want to talk to her and from authors who would like to write a book with her.
Chapman's plea agreement with federal prosecutors includes a clause forbidding her from making money from the sale of her story in book or movie form. However, there was no prohibition from her making money based on her celebrity status, Baum said.
And he indicated that it was likely she eventually would tell her story, even if she's not allowed to accept money for it.
"She can tell her story, but if she makes money on it, the U.S. government is going to try and seize the profits," Baum said. "I guess they figure if she's not being paid for it, she's not going to talk about it. That's probably not the case."
He said Chapman is happy to be reunited with her family, especially her sister who lives just outside Moscow.
Most of her time has been spent trying to resurrect a business that matches real estate agents with people looking to buy homes, he said.
Baum said Chapman has had very little contact with the Russian government since her return and was not receiving payments of any kind. A lawyer for one of her co-defendants had said the Russian government had promised his client $2,000 a month for life and lodging if he returned to Russia.
Baum said he is sure that Chapman misses her life in the United States.
"She wished that she hadn't been forced to leave," he said. "I know she wanted to stay here. She had a lot of friends."