The Model: Dennis Hirdt is fond of reading spy stories in his spare time. "When people asked me 'Were you surprised about Anna?' I said no," he says.
For Chapman, flirting was like breathing—so automatic as to be unconscious. "She was a seductress," says her friend Dennis Hirdt, a model whose bounce-a-dime-on-them abs have appeared in campaigns for Roberto Cavalli and Gianfranco Ferré. (He says his own interactions with Chapman didn't go beyond flirting and texting.) "When I first met her, from the get-go: Little hand touches. Whispers. When you're in a loud place it kind of lends itself to getting close to someone and maybe putting a hand on the cheek, or maybe 'by accident' lips rubbing against an earlobe. Stuff like that. She was an expert at using her femininity to get information."
What that information was, well, it's hard to say, unless perchance this Bond Girl manqué had misread Bret Easton Ellis' Glamorama as a work of nonfiction and believed that male models, baby-faced entrepreneurs, celebutards, and nightclub habitués were on the brink of fomenting international unrest. One of Chapman's closest associates was Russell Terlecki, a 40-year-old promoter, actor, and film producer who's a co-owner of a new upscale tequila brand called Alma de Agave. "What was she learning?" he says with a laugh. "Trust me, I was out with her two nights a week. She wasn't learning anything. Trust me! Drinking champagne, tequila, vodka, whatever it is. She wasn't learning a lot." Like others, Terlecki (who is married and says he didn't have a romantic relationship with the dazzling redhead) characterizes Chapman as a networking pro who swanned through the downtown demimonde with impressive tirelessness and charm. "It never felt like she was prying," he says. "With me, it seemed like—it seemed like—she was always honest and straightforward."
Hirdt happens to be something of an espionage buff—at the moment he's reading Jennet Conant's The Irregulars, a book about the writer Roald Dahl's shadow phase as a British spy—and he's given some serious thought to the Mata Hari principle: When it comes to loosening lips, nothing succeeds like sheer hotness. "A lot of models would be great recruits for intelligence agencies," he muses Zoolanderishly. "At least the ones who are smart. Some of us are birdbrains. The ones who are smart are actually ideal recruits. They speak multiple languages. There's a lot of beauty, which is important. You have to be a chameleon—you have to fit into a lot of different places and circumstances and have some acting ability." Chapman possesses all of these skills. "When people asked me, 'Were you surprised about Anna?' I said no," Hirdt says. "If there was one person who I thought would be a spy, it would be Anna."
The Promoter: On his 40th birthday, Russell Terlecki received a set of Russian nesting dolls from Chapman. "Trust me," he says, "I was out with her two nights a week. Drinking whatever. She wasn't learning a lot."
Bill [via e-mail]: Any chance I could tempt you with sushi this evening?
Anna: if you see me every night, you will find out everything about me and get bored in like 1 week . . . :)
Bill: That seems like a very efficient process. We can have the shortest relationship in history. Also, I know myself. I will not get bored with you. You are way too interesting. And you have a great body :-)
Bill Staniford was mesmerized the moment he saw her. A client had brought Anya—when Staniford says her first name, he uses the Russian pronunciation—along to a meeting in a conference room at PropertyShark, and in spite of his training with the U.S. Marines, in spite of his deep-tissue ability to concentrate under duress, Staniford found that his focus evaporated in her presence. "She walks in with this other guy, and I'll tell you, as soon as she walks in, I don't remember anything else," he says. "She knocked me out. There was something about her—I think it might have been the red hair, or the way she walked, or her body. I was immediately like, My game's fucked. I can't focus on anything. It's like mwah mwah mwah. She kept on talking and I just kept on staring at her." (PropertyShark's founder, Matthew Haines, had the same reaction. "Mother Russia chose her well," he says. "I found myself completely incapable of thinking.")