Christine Keeler, former model at heart of Profumo affair, dies at 75

Elias Hubbard
December 6, 2017

Ms Keeler helped bring down a failing Tory Government thanks to her part in the Profumo affair, which rocked the Establishment and convulsed Westminster in 1963.

Profumo was eventually forced to resign after lying to parliament about the affair.

Ms Keeler's family said she passed away on Monday at 23:30 GMT at the Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington, south-east London. She had been ill for several months, and suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

"There was a great deal of good around Chris' fairly deplorable life, in light of the fact that there was a family around her that adored her", he told the Guardian.

The Profumo affair will be the subject of a BBC One drama which begins filming next year.

Often presented her as a femme fatale behind the downfall of two powerful men, she spent much of her life trying to shake off that image.

"We are all very proud of who she was".

Stephen Ward, an osteopath, introduced society girl Keeler to Profumo in 1961, sparking an affair between the pair.

The disclosures about Ms Keeler's association with Mr Profumo are considered to have added to the fall of the Macmillan government.

Profumo told the House of Commons there was no "impropriety" in their relationship after being asked about it by opposition MPs who voiced concerns about national-security implications.

A world of sex, horse-play, drinking orgies and spying in high places was revealed, as Ms Keeler shared her favours with Mr Profumo and Commander Eugene Ivanov, a Russian intelligence officer and the Soviet assistant naval attache in London.

Eventually, after more newspaper stories emerged, he admitted lying to the house, and resigned from the cabinet and the Commons. "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", she said.

Keeler who had lived under the surname Sloane for many years, was married twice and had two sons, James, from her first marriage and Seymour from her second.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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