Anna Chapman, the Russian spy who was arrested in New York and then deported with her comrades, has become a celebrity in her native country, the Los Angeles Times reports. Chapman personally watched a rocket launch carry astronauts to the International Space Station. Then she and her cohorts were given Russia’s highest honor at the Kremlin from President Dmitry Medvedev. Chapman’s latest is that she graces the cover of Russia’s Maxim magazine in lacy underwear and holding a gun in her hand. Chapman, also known as Anna Kushchenko, is 28 years old and has become a favorite amongst Russian politicians, including Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Anna Chapman is the next big name in a long line of people who thrive on making themselves famous for engaging in less-than-exemplary behavior. Here are some of the most notorious people who made good on their bad deeds.
Al Capone made a reputation in Chicago for being a tough crime boss during the Prohibition Era in the 1920s. Leading a gang as an adult came naturally to Capone, as he dropped out of school in sixth grade and joined several gangs as a teenager in New York City.
Even before he moved to Chicago, Capone murdered two men for crime boss Frankie Yale in Brooklyn. Yale sent Capone to Chicago after the murders so he could “cool off,” according to the Chicago History Museum. The rest is history, as Capone became one of the most feared crime bosses in America for his ruthlessness and reputation.
Proclaiming “I’m not a crook,” President Richard Nixon seemed to revel in the fact that he nearly got away with spying on his political rivals during the Watergate scandal. Five men were arrested when they were caught repairing wiretapping equipment in the luxury apartment complex, according to U-S-History.com.
Nixon taped several conversations he had with fellow White House staffers such as White House Chief of Staff Robert Haldeman. One such conversation had Nixon instructing his aide to head off any FBI investigation into the Watergate scandal. When Congress subpoenaed the tape, Nixon knew his days were numbered and he resigned.
Levi Johnston has the distinction of being the father of Sarah Palin’s only grandchild. He was engaged to Bristol Palin twice and is now trying to cash in on the fact that he was once close to the family that was selected to be a vice presidential candidate in 2008.
ABC News reports that Johnston told “The View” that he wants to be mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, the same town that Sarah Palin became mayor of before she ran for governor. Johnston says there are no qualifications to be mayor of the town except you have to live in the city limits for a year. Johnston said he has no platform as his bid for mayor is part of a reality show.
Anna Chapman will go away eventually, just like most people who got to be well-known for doing something infamous. For now, she’s young, and Russians love seeing her and being near her. Chapman should live it up while she still can because the Russian winter is coming soon, and I don’t mean the weather. When Chapman is no longer politically expedient, her fame will wither.
Loiko, Sergei, “Russian spy wins adulation at home”, Los Angeles Times.
Chicago History Museum, “History Files-Al Capone”, ChicagoHS.org.
United States History, “Watergate Scandal”, U-S-History.com.
Bohrer, Becky, “Levi Johnston Wants to Be Mayor; Has No Platform”, ABC News.