TODAY   |  October 20, 2010

Russian spy trades snooping for spotlight

Anna Chapman, who was among 10 accused spies deported from the U.S. after pleading guilty to conspiracy, is now celebrated as a national hero and sex symbol in Russia. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> russian spy anna chapman is emerging from the shadows, this time on the pages of maxim magazine .

>> this morning we're learning more about this woman who we already know to be glamorous, mysterious and a sensation online. ann chapman is no lodger hiding any secrets. it's 100 sexiest women in the country, two of the shots too racy for morning tv. while chapman was among ten accused spies deported from the u.s. in july after pleading guilty to conspiracy in what american officials describe as at best an intelligence gathering failure. in russia, chapman is still celebrated as a national hero .

>> we live in a world where we celebrate everything.

>> reporter: on monday, the 28-year-old redhead and her comrades were awarded moscow's highest honor. unlike most retired spies, chapman has hardly faded away in obscurity. her first public appearance after the scandal, a shoot for another magazine. and the lady in red was seen at this rocket launch . in the u.s., chapman claimed to work in real estate and banking seen here promoting herself at a conference for entrepreneurs in new york. back in russia, she was recently hired as an advisor to the president of a bank. but in either case, chapman is finding new business opportunities . this month watching an iphone app that lets users play poker with a virtual anna.

>> he's a fantasy, if you look at every bond movie , you have these gorgeous, gorgeous spies that don't exist in real life . but now one does.

>> chapman may have been stealing american secrets, but she's still finding ways to steal the spotlight. for what it's worth, that new maxim issue makes newsstands tomorrow. by the way maxim says that chapman breaks her silence in several interviews that she does, among them men, flirting and her future plans.

>>> and coming up next, a new warning for women about hormone replacement therapy , why scientists say it could be even riskier than previously thought. so, get this -- kraft mac & cheese ... but it's in a bag. and you bake it... in the oven. whatever