Christine Margaret Keeler (22 February 1942 – 4 December 2017) was an English model and showgirl. Her meeting at a dance-club with society osteopath Stephen Ward drew her into fashionable circles. At the height of the Cold War, she became sexually involved with a married government minister, John Profumo, as well as with a Soviet naval attaché, Yevgeny Ivanov. A shooting incident between two of her other lovers caused the press to investigate her, revealing that her affairs could be threatening national security. In the House of Commons, Profumo denied any improper conduct but later admitted that he had lied.
Christine Margaret Keeler (22 February 1942 – 4 December 2017) was an English model and showgirl. Her meeting at a dance-club gone society osteopath Stephen Ward drew her into accepted circles. At the culmination of the Cold War, she became sexually full of zip with a married executive minister, John Profumo, as without difficulty as in imitation of a Soviet naval attaché, Yevgeny Ivanov. A shooting incident with two of her other lovers caused the press to question her, revealing that her affairs could be threatening national security. In the House of Commons, Profumo denied any improper conduct but higher admitted that he had lied.
This incident discredited the Conservative presidency of Harold Macmillan in 1963, in what became known as the Profumo affair. Keeler was alleged to have been a prostitute – which was not a criminal offence. Ward was, however, found guilty of living thing her pimp – a events was instigated after the embarrassment caused to the government. The events has in the past been considered a miscarriage of justice; a charade of the opening to guard itself.
Keeler was born in Uxbridge, Middlesex. Her father, Colin Keeler (later known as Colin King), abandoned the relatives in 1945. She was brought up by her mother, Julie Ellen Payne, and stepfather, Edward Huish, in a house made from two converted railway carriages in the Berkshire village of Wraysbury. In 1951, at the age of 9, Keeler was sent to a holiday house in Littlehampton because the theoretical health inspector said that she was difficulty from malnutrition. She was sexually abused as a minor both by her stepfather and his friends, for whom she babysat. At the age of 15, she found work as a model at a dress shop in London’s Soho. At age 17, she gave birth to a son after an affair following an African-American United States Air Force sergeant. The child was born prematurely upon 17 April 1959, and survived just six days.
That summer, Keeler left Wraysbury, staying briefly in Slough in imitation of a buddy before heading for London. She initially worked as a waitress at a restaurant on Baker Street, where she met Maureen O’Connor, who worked at Murray’s Cabaret Club in Soho. She introduced Keeler to the owner, Percy Murray, who hired her concerning immediately as a topless showgirl.
At Murray’s she met Stephen Ward, an English osteopath and artist. His practice and his art brought considerable social success, and he made many important friends. Soon the two were active together like the outward broadcast of swine a couple, but according to her, it was a platonic, non-sexual relationship. In her autobiography, Secrets and Lies, Keeler maintains that Ward was operating as a double agent, having door with both senior members of MI5, and the KGB to whom he was passing UK come clean secrets.
On the weekend of 8–9 July 1961, Ward introduced Keeler to John Profumo, the Secretary of State for War, at a pool party at Cliveden, the Buckinghamshire mansion owned by the 3rd Viscount Astor. Profumo began a brief affair next Keeler. The exact length of the affair amid Keeler and Profumo is disputed, ending either in August 1961 in imitation of Profumo was warned by the security facilities of the feasible dangers of mixing later than the Ward circle, or continuing following decreasing fervour until December 1961. Among Ward’s supplementary friends, whom Profumo briefly met, was the Soviet naval attaché and GRU officer, Yevgeny Ivanov. According to Keeler, she and Ivanov had a rapid sexual relationship.
After her membership with Profumo ended, Keeler was sexually practicing with several partners, including jazz singer Lucky Gordon and jazz advocate Johnny Edgecombe. There was considerable jealousy between the two men; in one quarrel on 27 October 1962, Edgecombe slashed Gordon’s face subsequent to a knife. When Keeler curtains the link with Edgecombe in December 1962, Edgecombe turned stirring at Ward’s house in Wimpole Mews on 14 December, where she was temporarily seeking refuge, and in flames five shots at the building. His arrest and subsequent proceedings brought Keeler to public attention and provided the impetus from which the hatred known as the “Profumo affair” developed. After initially denying any impropriety in the same way as Keeler, Profumo eventually confessed and resigned from the supervision and parliament, causing good embarrassment to his doling out colleagues who had back supported him. These events, in the summer of 1963, brought Keeler notoriety; The Economist gave the headline “The Prime Minister’s Crisis” alongside a picture of Keeler, with no additional explanation.
At the summit of the Profumo affair in 1963, Keeler sat for a photographic portrait taken by Lewis Morley. The photo shoot, at a studio on the first floor of Peter Cook’s Establishment Club, with Morley was to broadcast a proposed film, The Keeler Affair, that was never released in the United Kingdom. Keeler was reluctant to pose in the nude, but the film producers insisted. Morley persuaded Keeler to sit astride a plywood chair, so that whilst technically she would be nude, the encourage of the chair would mysterious most of her body. Keeler told sparkle historian Tim Benson in 2007 that she was not nude and was, in fact, wearing knickers during the complete photoshoot.
The photo propelled Arne Jacobsen’s Model 3107 chair to prominence, even even if the seat used was an imitation of the Model 3107, with a hand-hold aperture crudely clip out of the put in the works to to avoid copyright infringement. The seat used is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The differences in the designs of the chairs are readily apparent in a side-by-side photograph.
On 18 April 1963, Keeler was attacked at the house of a friend. She accused Gordon, who was arrested and charged. At his trial, which began on 5 June, he maintained that his innocence would be expected by two witnesses who, the police told the court, could not be found. On 7 June, principally upon the evidence of Keeler, Gordon was found guilty and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. By this time, Ward was facing trial upon vice charges, and once again Keeler was a main proceedings witness.
Ward’s trial, which ran 22–31 July 1963, has been characterised as “an stroke of political revenge” for the embarrassment caused to the government. He was accused of bustling off immoral earnings earned through Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies, on the basis of the small contributions to household expenses or press on repayments the two had made to Ward while living subsequent to him. Ward’s professional earnings as an osteopath were a substantial £5,500 a year (£118,200 in 2019) at the grow old these little payments were made. After a discordant summing-up from the trial judge, Ward was convicted, but previously the judges returned their verdict, he took an overdose of barbiturates and died past sentence could be passed. In the closing days of Ward’s trial, Gordon’s belligerence conviction was overturned by the Court of Appeal taking into account his missing witnesses were found and testified that the evidence unquestionable by Keeler was substantially false. In December 1963, Keeler pleaded guilty to charges of perjury past Sir Anthony Hawke, the Recorder of London, and she was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment, serving four and a half months in prison.
After her pardon from prison in 1964, Keeler had two brief marriages, to James Levermore in 1965–66 and to Anthony Platt in 1971–72. There was a child from each union, the elder physical largely raised by Keeler’s mother, Julie. Keeler mainly lived alone in the last couple of decades of her life. Most of the considerable amount of allowance that she made from newspaper stories was dissipated by lawyers. She said that during the 1970s “I was not living, I was surviving”. She published several accounts of her life, in one of which she claimed that she became pregnant hence of her connection with Profumo and with had an abortion. Her portrait, by Ward, was acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in 1984.
In 1988 Keeler was featured in Bryan Ferry’s promotional video for the single “Kiss and Tell” (originally released on Ferry’s seventh solo album, Bête Noire, in 1987) with Mandy Rice-Davies; this was meant to charm more attention to the song’s theme. In June 1988 she made an outstretched appearance on Channel 4 expression programme After Dark.