“These girls aren’t one-night hookers; they’re sink-the-teeth-in hookers,” says a television producer who knows them. “They’re playing chess. They’re looking No. 1 for freedom, No. 2 for lots of money by a quickie marriage or, failing that, a lawsuit. They’re very adept with credit cards, and they know you don’t get those the first night.”
The path from Moscow to New York cut through the modeling business. In May 1988, the first Miss Moscow contest was held. A year later came the first Miss USSR, Yulia Sukhanova, a rangy 17-year-old Moscow schoolgirl with gray-blue eyes, blonde hair, and a beauty mark over one eyebrow.
Though she didn’t know it, her modeling career was facilitated by Richard Fuisz (pronounced fuse), a former actor, psychiatrist, pediatrician, congressional candidate, whistle-blower, and entrepreneur who declines to comment on a published report that he has intelligence ties. Fuisz, who owned a company that did joint ventures in Moscow, was approached by the then-Soviet ambassador to Washington, Yuri V. Dubinin, to set up a modeling agency to prepare the first waves of Soviet beauties for American commerce (which often meant substantial dental work) and protect them from “adverse influences” and bad publicity like magazine “spreads about their teeth,” Fuisz says.
Sukhanova was the first of ten girls he would oversee. But first, he had to free her from the Soviet Union. He did it with the help of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, now one of Russia’s oil billionaires but then the head of the Komsomol, or Young Communist League, and beginning his business career in a computer venture with Fuisz. “Each time Yulia tried to leave, the Moscow City Council canceled her visa,” Fuisz reports. The hard-liners were opposed. “With Khodorkovsky’s help, I escorted her to the airport and onto a plane to get her out.” Soon, she was meeting Miss America, Nancy Reagan, and Sting, shooting the cover of Details, and filming a yogurt commercial. That’s when international model agents like John Casablancas started sniffing around Moscow like pigs after truffles.
Susan Lindauer, former journalist and congressional aide:
“I worked intensively, intensively, to get the weapons inspectors back into Iraq, and always I urged Iraq to cooperate fully with the international war against terrorism. And I won some important victories. Such as persuading Iraq to invite the FBI to interview “Mr. Al-Ani” in Baghdad about the alleged meeting with Atta in Prague. Iraq agreed to do that interview, President Bush refused to send the FBI. And here I am today.
I want to say to Americans that what I did was always, always good for homeland security and Middle Eastern security. I have – let no one forget, I have only worked to implement policy objectives that have been declared the highest priorities of our own democratically elected government.
And there is more that will come out, there”s a lot more that will come out. I guess it”s better for George Bush that I”m testifying here than in front of the commissions for, the 9-11 commission or the Iraqi war commission.”