Model in Britain's sex-and-spy Profumo scandal dies at 75December 6, 2017 7:42am

LONDON (AP) — Christine Keeler, the central figure in the sex-and-espionage Profumo scandal that rocked Cold War Britain, has died at 75.

Her son, Seymour Platt, posted on Facebook that Keeler died Monday at a hospital near Farnborough in southern England.

Platt said on Facebook that his mother died late Monday night after suffering for several years from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

"As many of you know my mother, Christine Keeler, fought many fights in her eventful life, some fights she lost but some she won," he said. "She earned her place in British history but at a huge personal price. We are all very proud of who she was."

Keeler was a model and nightclub dancer in 1963 when she had an affair with British War Secretary John Profumo.

When it emerged that Keeler had also slept with a Soviet naval attache with ties to Russian intelligence, the collision of sex, wealth and national security issues caused a sensation and helped topple the Conservative government.

Profumo eventually resigned in disgrace after lying to the House of Commons about his relationship with Keeler. He threatened at the time to sue anyone who suggested there had been any inappropriate behavior with her.

The stunning sex scandal shed light on a previously well-hidden world of sex and alcohol fueled orgies among the political elite.

The scandal also made Keeler famous. A naked photo of Keeler straddling the back of a chair is among the most famous U.K. images of the 1960s. She spent the rest of her life trying to escape her unwanted notoriety.

Born in 1942, Keeler left school at 15 and shortly after started working as a showgirl on Greek Street in the heart of London's Soho district, known at the time for its strip clubs and sleazy entertainment.

Keeler met men like Profumo after befriending a high-society osteopath, Dr. Stephen Ward, who introduced her to a number of powerful figures.

Ward was put on trial and took a fatal overdose the night before he was convicted of living off immoral earnings.

Keeler was imprisoned for nine months after admitting perjury and conspiring to obstruct justice.

More than two decades later, she expressed regret: "I was just a 19-year-old girl having a good time. I loved every minute of it. But if I had known then what was going to happen, I'd have run off and not stopped until I had reached my mum."

Keeler moved on after the scandal. She was married twice and had two sons, even as pop culture breathed new life into the Profumo affair.

In 2013, Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage musical "Stephen Ward" — in which Keeler was portrayed by Charlotte Spencer — premiered in London.

___

This story has been corrected to show that Ward took a fatal overdose the night before he was convicted, not that he killed himself after he was convicted. Also, a previous version of this story incorrectly reported Keeler was born in 1943. She was born in 1942.

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

FILE - In this July 18, 2015 file photo, Russell Simmons speaks appears at the RUSH Philanthropic Arts Foundation's Art for Life Benefit in Water Mill, N.Y. Three women have told the New York Times that music mogul Russell Simmons raped them. Simmons, in a statement to the paper, vehemently denied what he called “these horrific accusations,” saying all his relations have been consensual. (Photo by Scott Roth/Invision/AP, File)
The Latest: NYPD investigating Simmons rape allegations
Britain's Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge arrives for the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service at St Paul's Cathedral in London, to mark the six month anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, Thursday Dec.  14, 2017. (Gareth Fuller/Pool Photo via AP)
Royals join bereaved families in London tower fire memorial
UK theater axes play with abuse theme amid misconduct crisisWith allegations of sexual misconduct shaking Britain's entertainment industry, London's Royal Court Theatre has canceled a production that features "themes of grooming and abuses of power on young women."
FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2017 file photo, Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle arrive at Nottingham Academy in Nottingham, England. Prince Harry's fiancee is set to join Britain's royal family for Christmas. Kensington Palace says Meghan Markle will join Queen Elizabeth II and other senior royals at Sandringham, a sprawling estate in Norfolk, 110 miles (175 kilometers) north of London, it was announced on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017.  (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
Meghan Markle to join royal family for Christmas
Gossip editors face HR training after harassment allegationsThe company that publishes Us Weekly, the National Enquirer and other gossip publications is hiring outside human resources experts to train its managers in "sexual harassment prevention and sensitivity," an internal email shows
FILE - In this March 26, 2016, file photo, Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson chats with campaign volunteers in Baltimore. Mckesson, is suing Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, claiming she defamed him while discussing a lawsuit against the Black Lives Matter movement that was later dismissed. The suit, which also names Fox News Network, was filed in New York on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Fox News host Jeanine Pirro sued for defamation
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices