Mrs. America owner David Marmel worked with Anna Chapman and Vasily Kushchenko’s firm to improve the image of… Russia
Alleged spy Anya Chapman and dad Vasily Kushchenko worked for a high profile Russian PR firm. The 4 Vlast (the Forth power) is the owner of the Mrs. World-Russia brand. In fact Vasily Kushchenko is listed as contact person for the Mrs World-St. Petersburg edition of the pageant.
The President of Mrs. America and Mrs. World pageant is an American: David Marmel. Here is what he said at a press-conference before the event in St Peterburg:
I am Russian by origin; my father and mother were born in Russia. Although I grew up in America, I always felt like I am Russian. Often people say that I have a Russian heart… With Russia I am connected not only with my origins. Here in a Moscow Theater few blocks down the road I began my work. In 1989 the USSR government invited me to organize a pageant. 50 women from each American state and as many Russian women participated in the event. Next to each other stood Mrs. America and Mrs. Russia. This is when I promised my father to bring the pageant Mrs. World to Russia. We want to show the whole world that Russia is a wonderful place and a safe place…
The boss of Mrs. America dreamed to bring the pageant to Russia?!? The press-conference was held in the headquarters of the Russian news-giant Izvesiya, where the office of the 4 Vlast firm, for which alleged spy Anya Chapman and Vasily Kushchenko used to work at the time.
Here comes the funny part: what actually happened at that pageant is just the opposite of proving that Russia is the right place to do beauty pageants. According to reports in the local media at the time:
20 out of the 52 qualified contestants did not get Russian visas. The customs did not allow the jewelry to enter the country – including the crown for Mrs. World – the pieces of fine jewelry were held for further investigation at the customs. The replacement crown had to be scotch-taped because of mishandling.
There was no translator for Alan Thicke (the Growing Pains star) who hosted the event, so the contestants helped each other with the translation. When finally the lines were told in Russian – some of the public left insulted because the host asked one of the Missis if the dress she was wearing belongs to her husband.
At the end the winner was Mrs. Costa Rica – the audience started to leave because the underground transportation in the city was about to close. Just then Mr. Marmel (Mrs. America and Mrs. World producer) appeared on the stage claiming that a mistake has been made and the winner is actually Mrs. Russia. So the final was re-taped for the TV with another winner and Mrs. Costa Rica missing. No kidding!
If the quality of the Russian spies is like the quality of their PR – we have nothing to worry about.