Everyone is so distracted by "sexy" alleged Russian spy Anna Chapman and her topless photos and "kinky" sex life* (unclear if she wore the tiara), we're not sure if they noticed this Wall Street Journal article about NYPD Deputy Commissioner and spokesman Paul Browne—he says a Russian spy tried to recruit him in the 1970s!
In 1973, Browne was taking a journalism course taught at the United Nations (he was getting his master's at Columbia during his leave from the Watertown Daily Times) when "he met and became friendly with Alex Yakovlev, a 32-year-old who broadcast U.N. news to Eastern Europe." From the WSJ:
Mr. Yakovlev started wooing Mr. Browne over drinks and dinner. At one point, he offered Mr. Browne $30 to write a freelance article "on anything you wish." At a subsequent dinner, Mr. Yakovlev questioned Mr. Browne about his teachers and asked if there were any foreign students in his class. He offered to pay Mr. Browne for notes he took in his class and for the names of any diplomats Mr. Browne quoted anonymously in stories he wrote for the course.
Mr. Yakovlev also asked Mr. Browne to pretend he didn't know him if they saw each other in the U.N. building. In the future, Mr. Yakovlev said of their relationship, "when you work for a position at a big newspaper or a government position—maybe even your friends would use it against you." That was enough for Mr. Browne. He called one of his teachers, who then called the dean, who recommended that the FBI get involved.
The FBI believed that Browne was being recruited to be an "agent of influence... They were investing in Mr. Browne in hopes they could use the association to blackmail him later if he achieved an influential position." Like NYPD Deputy Commissioner? Or Treasury Department staffer?
To help the FBI, Browne continued to meet with Yakovlev, even giving him a freelance article about suburban New Yorkers' reaction to Watergate, which the Russian happily accepted, paying him $30 (in tens, which Browne turned over to the FBI). But in 1975, Browne ended contact with Yakovlev (and the meetings with stale Cuban cigars!) ultimately writing about his experience in the Washington Post. Now he realizes, "In retrospect, the Russians were in it for the long haul. Had I been turned, it would have paid dividends for them years later."
* As for Chapman, her friends are slamming her ex-husband for divulging the topless pictures and stories of their marriage. One said, "We are simply outraged by what Anna's ex-husband has been saying about her. Anna did not like to remember about her early failed marriage," adding, "He was not a man but a rag. The way he is behaving now at this difficult period in her life is only further proof of that. Besmirching your former wife like this is base."