From covert agent to magazine cover girl?

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The Independent Online

Anna Chapman, the glamorous figure at the centre of this summer's US-Russia spy scandal, has been threatened with legal action over a photo-shoot that marked her first foray into Russian public life after a high-profile prisoner swap.

A short video that surfaced online yesterday showed Ms Chapman arriving at a five-star hotel in central Moscow, apparently to take part in a photo session for a Russian glossy magazine. Ms Chapman posted a new photograph to her profile on the website Facebook earlier this week. It appeared to have been taken from the photoshoot in the Baltschung Kempinski Hotel, one of the most expensive in the Russian capital. The newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda reprinted the photograph.

Sources in the Russian media say that the photoshoot was for the October edition of the glossy Russian magazine Zhara. The photos will not be accompanied by an interview, on the orders of Ms Chapman's SVR bosses, according to the magazine.

Maxim Korshunov, the editor in chief of Zhara said his magazine now intended to sue Ms Chapman and Komsomolskaya Pravda for breach of copyright, as the Russian spy had no right to disseminate the exclusive photographs online before their publication.

The terms of the agreement the ten alleged spies signed in the US before their deportation forbids them from ever making money for selling their story. It is unclear how such an agreement would be enforced now that Ms Chapman is in Russia. Yesterday, she denied that she had received money for the shoot and claimed that she had not agreed to appear in any magazines. "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 wrote in a status update on Facebook .

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