Russian model who fell ill in Salisbury restaurant claims Putin tried to poison her
A Russian model who fell ill in a Salisbury restaurant has claimed that she was targeted by Vladimir Putin, stating the Russian President wants her dead.
Anna Shapiro and her husband both became violently ill in the city's Prezzo restaurant on Sunday night, sparking fears that another nerve agent attack had been ordered.
Shapiro claims she found her husband, 42-year-old Alex King, collapsed in the men's toilet and "foaming at the mouth".
King is currently in hospital, fighting for his life, with security sources allegedly believing that the pair may have been the target of a suspected rat poisoning attack.
In March of this year, former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal were poisoned in Salisbury with a Novichok nerve agent, a chemical attack that many people believed the Russians were behind.
The part-time model, who claims her father was a "general in the Russian army who played for the military orchestra", reportedly told British newspaper The Sun that she believed Putin was behind this attack too.
She told The Sun: "I was targeted by Putin’s henchmen. They want me dead as I oppose Putin and have turned my back on my country. Russia is capable of anything."
Describing how the incident unfolded, Shapiro - who says she received death threats beforehand from someone claiming to be her father -stated that she and her husband arrived at a rented £55-a-night farmhouse in Landford near Salisbury on Sunday afternoon.
"On arrival [to Prezzo in Sailsbury], I ordered a Florentine pizza and Alex went for sea bass, vegetables and baby potatoes. We also had two glasses of white wine," she said.
The 30-year-old described how her partner began to look ill towards the end of the meal, saying: "He went pale and said he was going to the toilet upstairs. After 15 minutes I began to get worried."
She continued: "I headed up and saw him lying on the floor near the sinks. He was face down and his arms were thrashing about. I thought it was a seizure and tried to get him up. But he was foaming at the mouth and pushed me off. I ran downstairs for help. I was panicked."
After raising the alarm for King, the Russian suddenly felt ill herself and rushed to the toilet to be violently sick before collapsing; the couple were rushed to Sailsbury District Hospital soon after, along with a waiter. While Shapiro discharged herself on Monday evening, and was escorted to a local hotel with cops on 24-hour guard, her husband remains in hospital.
At the current time, police are not linking their illness to the poisonings in Salisbury and Amesbury in March. However, the young woman remains adamant that she was targeted by Russian intelligence who think she is a British spy.
"I’m sure the Russians think I’m a British spy, I know lots of rich businessmen in central London and because I have the accent people make assumptions about me," she claimed. "But I publicly renounce Putin and the country of my family. I am a former Russian subject. My father was a general in the Russian army and played for the military orchestra. He is appalled at the paths I have taken. Someone purporting to be my father is behind a series of death threats I have had on various social media accounts and email addresses. They have frightened me."