When ten Russian spies landed back in Russia in early July in the largest spy swap with the United States since the Cold War, they were quickly loaded into vans on the tarmac and whisked away. In the seven weeks since, they haven't been seen.
Now the most famous of the group has resurfaced, and again she has sparked controversy. Anna Chapman, the sultry femme fatale whose picture was plastered on the front pages of newspapers around the world, has appeared in a video of an exclusive photoshoot she recently did for the Russian magazine "Heat." But after Chapman posted a snapshot from the shoot on her Facebook page this week ahead of Heat's planned publication date, the magazine announced Thursday they are suing Chapman for allegedly breaking her contract.
In the two-minute video, Chapman models in low-cut dresses, striking poses that justify the "bombshell" label that was quickly attached to the spy after her arrest in late June.
In a short blue dress, Chapman stares into the lens from a window ledge in Moscow's ritzy Baltschug Kempinski Hotel, the Kremlin framed in the background. She then moves to a wall, leaning against it with her face pressed up a picture frame.
"The way that she moved her body with such pointed sexuality, it gave the impression she had participated in photo sessions like this for men's magazines several times," wrote LifeNews.ru, a website that posted the video and photos and is part of the same publishing company as Heat.
The shots were reportedly taken several weeks ago, the same day that actress Angelina Jolie was in Moscow promoting her movie "Salt," in which she is suspected of being a Russian spy. At the time, rumors were swirling around the capital that Jolie had requested a meeting with Chapman.
According to LifeNews, Chapman brought her own dresses to the shoot, having come back to Russia with just the clothes on her back. After the shoot, she refused to be interviewed, reportedly because her previous employers, the foreign intelligence service, still won't let her speak out. (A representative for Chapman has turned down ABC News' requests for an interview at this time.)
However, the video was not intended to be released on Thursday when LifeNews posted it along with two photos. Heat claims to have negotiated an exclusive deal with Chapman in which the photos would only be published once the issue comes out. But on Wednesday, Chapman posted a picture on her Facebook page from the shoot, which was picked up by a popular Russian tabloid and printed in the next morning's paper. Heat says they are now suing Chapman and the tabloid, Komsomolskaya Pravda, for violating the terms of the contract.
All this despite the fact that Chapman reportedly requested several times during the shoot "in a demanding tone" that nothing leak out.
But the anger over the early release isn't stopping Heat and LifeNews from hyping their access to the most famous spy in the world.
"Employees of Heat are at a loss for words to explain how beautiful and erotic the photoshoot turned out," the article accompanying the photos reads, adding that thousands of men dream of having "just a peek at her."
One of the few who has had a peek is Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who met with the ten spies upon their return, singing Soviet patriotic songs with them. Otherwise, little is known about their whereabouts or plans. Chapman's lawyer told ABC News that she wanted to return to England where she had lived before moving to New York. But her British citizenship – which she got, along with her last name, after marrying an Englishman – was revoked shortly after her return to Russia.
Russians did not react with the same fascination to the spy scandal as Americans. Most either didn't know about it or were amused that these ten were considered spies given what little sensitive information they were apparently able to collect.
But as in the United States, Russia was transfixed by the alluring redhead and immediately began guessing what the future may hold for her -- a future that now appears to include the limelight, at least for the short term.