Anna Chapman, real name Anna Kushchenko, has enjoyed much stardom since she was deported back to Russia for espionage. Her homeland has turned her into a celebrity, even though she was caught and charged by the United States in June. The spy girl has recently attended the launch of a rocket to the International Space Station; she received top state awards from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Kremlin; and, most notably, she has now appeared on the cover of Russian Maxim magazine (latimes.com). This is not the first time that a formerly unknown person has used infamy to gain celebrity.
Surely you remember this woman and her husband. They crashed the first-ever White House State Dinner in November 2009. Although a hearing took place, the two have yet to be convicted (or to produce the invitation that doesn’t really exist). The months leading up to the national security breach were filmed by Bravo for the “Real Housewives of D.C.” reality show. Michaele appeared on “The View” around the time that the “Housewives” show was set to debut, and afterward, she accused Whoopi Goldberg of hitting her while on the talk show (ivillage). Once again, the focus was on Salahi, guaranteeing that people would tune in to the “Housewives”. Salahi has proved that she will stop at nothing to get media attention.
Perhaps the most famous of Tiger Woods’ mistresses, Uchitel has reportedly made millions of dollars for keeping her mouth shut (and just as much for talking, no doubt). She has become very litigious, should anyone decide to call her a dirty name, and threatened to sue Joy Behar for making a play on Rachel’s last name during an episode of “The View.”
Woods isn’t the only celebrity whom Uchitel has had an affair with. She admitted to a relationship with actor David Boreanz as well. Boreanz has stated that he was unfaithful to his wife but would not name the woman in the affair, stating only that he was being blackmailed by his mistress (aceshowbiz). Hmmm…sounds a little too fitting. Uchitel has since signed up for “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” to be treated for an addiction that no one cares about.
The name may not sound familiar at first, but she was one of several teens who formed the “bling ring” from 2008 and 2009, burglarizing the homes of the rich and famous. Neiers would not have become so well known had she not taken part in the E! Entertainment reality show “Pretty Wild” with her two sisters. The show coincided with the arrests made when surveillance cameras at Orlando Bloom’s property finally revealed who the thieves were (dailymail). Neiers pleaded no contest to the charges and ultimately spent one month in jail. Ironically, she was in the same jail at the same time as Lindsey Lohan in July 2010 – Lohan was one of the many stars who were burglarized by the “bling ring.”
With the above examples of people who became famous for lawless activity, it is safe to say that Anna Chapman is a shooting star. Yes, we hear new stories now and then about the infamous Salahi and Uchitel, but their reputations are tarnished and their stardom has fizzled out. There is only so long that the public will react to destructive forces, and the fifteen minutes of fame is over for these ladies. Chapman’s time in the spotlight will undoubtedly follow the same course.
Sergei L. Loiko, “Russian Spy Wins Adulation at Home”, Los Angeles Times
Aly Semigran, “New D.C. Housewife Accuses Whoopi Goldberg of “Hitting” Her on ‘The View’, iVillage
Paul Thompson, “Reality TV Star Jailed for Burgling Orlando Bloom’s Hollywood Home”, Daily Mail