The former father-in-law of alleged Russian spy Anna Chapman insisted he did not recognise the flame-haired 28-year-old splashed across headlines and suggested she may have been set up.
Chapman is one of 11 people accused by the United States of working as secret agents for Russia’s intelligence service, the SVR.
But 56-year-old Kevin Chapman, the father of her former husband Alex, told the Daily Mail: “She’s simply not some Mata Hari, she can’t be… she’s just an ordinary girl.”
The independent mortgage adviser said he could not believe his son was targeted just for his British passport, insisting: “I’m convinced it wasn’t a honey trap.”
But Alex Chapman, 30, from Bournemouth, Dorset, spoke earlier in the week of his suspicions that she was being “conditioned” by shadowy contacts during their marriage.
However his father told the Daily Mail that the girl depicted in the press was “just not her”.
“I always liked the girl and still do,” he said. “If there is any grain of truth in all of this, then I think Anna was either set up or seduced into something because of the glamour. I feel very sorry for her. She must be feeling very frightened right now.”
He said he had been pleased when she married his son in a secret ceremony in Russia in 2002, following a six-month romance, insisting she ticked all the boxes.
US Russia spies