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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

In the Spotlight: Masha Markova

This month’s Tatler magazine features a woman whose claim to fame is that bad-girl actress Lindsay Lohan once “borrowed” her fur coat.

Russian ex-model Masha Markova was the mysterious other woman in a bizarre episode last year when Lohan walked out of a New York nightclub wearing a fetching, ginger fur coat that didn’t belong to her.

An understandable mistake, you might think, but Lohan went on to pose for magazine photographs in the missing coat, causing Markova’s lawyers to launch a cold war and demand that the fur felon return the goods.

But there is more to Markova than just a taste for mink.

Markova is “New Russian No. 1” in London, the Russian Tatler writes, though I’m not sure if that’s a compliment. The leggy ex-model is pictured draping herself over the furniture in a London flat that she shares with her boyfriend, the Hanson conglomerate heir, Robert Hanson.

The Times wrote last year that Hanson was worth £50 million ($81.4 million). “She is in her 20s, and he is nearing 50,” Tatler wrote and printed a photo of Markova with the sideburned mogul. She is wearing a long, white dress with a train that might be designed to put certain thoughts into his mind, although there is no rock on that finger yet.

Markova is slightly hazy about her origins. Her parents left Russia in the 1990s for Panama, and their business involved “some freight trucks, transport,” she told Tatler, with probably about as much interest as her squeeze has in haulage. Her parents now live in Miami, and she met Hanson Jr. in Palm Springs. Now “the whole of London is talking about the union of the long-legged Russian and the most eligible British bachelor,” the magazine wrote.

It drops a few intriguing hints about Hanson and Markova’s lifestyle. They have a Filipino housekeeper whom Hanson will never sack because she might write memoirs, Markova said. And the whole apartment is decorated with blown-up photos of Markova, some with her in a bikini and some with no clothes at all. Markova charmingly explains that she wanted smaller ones but she thought that she was ordering the size in centimeters, not inches.

Oh and while they were doing up the flat, the couple roughed it at London’s five-star Jumeirah hotel.

Markova is running a fashion store — of course — after studying at Columbia University. But she wouldn’t be a Russian It Girl if she didn’t have artistic aspirations, too. She displays paintings of guns and beautiful thin women on her web site

There’s plenty of name-dropping in the interview. Markova went to the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation gala dinner organized by Alexander Lebedev & Son at Hampton Court Palace this summer and said she was told about Michael Jackson’s death by Elton John, no less.

It was while she was a Columbia student in January last year that the fur coat story took place. Just a typical student in a $12,000 dollar fur coat, Markova was sitting in a nightclub with Lohan at the next table. What exactly happened next is left to our imagination, as Markova explains that “I can’t talk in detail about that, because I have a contract.” She doesn’t specify whether this is some kind of deal with Lohan’s lawyers or a plan to write a searing blockbuster novel.

The experience was most distressing because newspapers picked up on her Facebook photographs, she complained.

“They took the worst shots, like I was coming out of a club with a bottle of champagne or topless on a beach,” Markova said. “This story will follow me to the end of my days.”