Ex-lover opens up about weeks of passion with `spy` Chapman
The British artist first saw Anna Chapman in a nightclub in Harare in 2001.
London: ``Red spy`` Anna Chapman had a fling with a British artist before she ditched him for her future husband Alex.
Anna had a passionate affair with Marcus Read, but broke up with him after meeting Alex Chapman while she and Marcus were on a night out drinking together.
A year later, Anna - who has been deported to Russia after her arrest in New York last month - tied the knot with Alex.
"Anna was feisty, fiery, totally unpredictable - and very sexy. The sex was brilliant, we were getting on great. And then, suddenly, she was off," The Mirror quoted Marcus, as saying.
The 37-year-old added: "She was always a bit mysterious, but I was totally astonished when I heard she was a Russian spy."
Marcus, who makes art and music installations for festivals, first saw Anna in a nightclub in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, in 2001.
He was staying with a friend and Anna was staying with her diplomat father, the erstwhile Russian ambassador to Zimbabwe.
Marcus said: "I`d been in the country for about five weeks, DJ-ing in a club.”
"I saw this beautiful girl walking past, looking at me and when she walked past again, I offered her a drink."
The duo chatted for two hours, although Anna wasn`t fluent in English.
Nothing happened that night, but Marcus was so smitten by Anna he asked her for her address and called round two days later.
He said: "I arrived at this huge palatial ambassador`s residence. She answered the front door but sent me round the back.”
"We sat by the pool and chatted for hours, then shared a really passionate kiss. We swapped numbers and promised to stay in touch as I was flying home the next day."
A couple of weeks after he arrived back in Hove, East Sussex, Anna phoned Marcus saying she`d like to visit him.
Marcus said: "She explained that two witnesses and myself would have to sign a form to formally invite her to the UK, which I was happy to do."
He continued: "I picked her up from the airport a couple of days later. She was wearing a short skirt, a low-cut top and had a huge bottle of whiskey.”
"We went back to my place, had a couple of shots and went straight to bed. Although she wasn`t too experienced, the sex was great.”
"She was very sensual and intimate. I wouldn`t say she was dominant, but she definitely played her part and was very willing to experiment."
Over the next few weeks Marcus and Anna lived as a couple, having passionate sex every day.
Marcus said: "I introduced her to all my friends and we went out partying most nights."
Six weeks into her stay, they headed to London for another party.
Marcus said: "We went to a mate`s warehouse flat. It was late and I was chatting to friends when I noticed her sitting on the bed with a guy, staring at him and talking really intensely."
The man was Alex Chapman. Anna told Marcus that Alex reminded her of her father, Vasily Kushchenko, said to be a close ally of Russian PM Vladimir Putin.
Marcus said: "When we left the party she just said to me, `I`m really sorry, but I am obsessed with that guy, he reminds me so much of my father and I can`t get him out of my head’.``
"After that, she became very distant. I pushed her on it and she started yelling at me, saying, `You don`t buy me anything. In Russia, men buy their women clothes and jewellery’.”
"It was obvious she`d decided to move on. She`d found her next bloke and after a week or so she left.”
"To be honest, I never expected a long-term relationship. Deep down, I knew she had used me to get an introduction to this country and I was happy to go along with it. She was a beautiful girl... what man wouldn`t have wanted her on his arm?"
After Anna and Alex broke up in 2005, Marcus met up with her on several occasions, just as friends. Anna was living in a Mayfair flat, but 18 months ago she stopped taking Marcus` calls and he heard no more.
Following her arrest in the US as part of a Russian spy ring, the friend who had signed her UK immigration form with Marcus rang to say he`d been contacted by MI5.
Marcus said: "In hindsight, I suppose she was good spy material - she was so mysterious and had the ability to be very secretive and private.”
"And she was hugely ambitious. If someone offered her the chance to further herself, she`d have done anything to get it."