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The calm before the storm

Thus, for several years, everyone went on with their lives, happily jumping from bed to bed, until Christine, probably looking for something a bit more exciting, took up with two West Indians: a jazz piano player Aloysius "Lucky" Gordon; and Johnny Edgecombe a jealous criminal associate of Peter Rachman.  The two had already been in a knife fight over her and while she was hiding-out from Johnny, with Mandy at Stephen Ward’s muse cottage pied-à-terre, five shots were fired into the building and the police were called.  

Both West Indians were charged with assorted offences.  As their trials began details of Stephen Ward’s lifestyle started to become public.  This was juicy stuff and The Screws (News) of the World interviewed Christine and offered financial inducements to tell all.  Injunctions and threats of actions for defamation flew. The paparazzi went into overdrive.  Photographs of people variously smiling into the cameras or scurrying away under coats and newspapers blossomed in the media.  In the midst of this excitement Christine stepped it up a notch by briefly fleeing the country to France, providing a story that could be published.

Christine was the principal prosecution witness against Lucky Gordon. She was found to be lying and confessed.  Convicted of perjury she served a nine month jail term. 

Profumo had been named as an ex-lover.  First he denied everything.  Then he admitted being there but not doing anything.  Then finally he admitted having the affair but not of telling her anything of a secret nature.  But at the outset he had made a false statement to the House.  He was obliged to resign from Parliament and went on to be on his best behaviour elsewhere as a pillar of the establishment until his death.  Dozens of books, documentaries, films and dramatisations followed.  Whenever there is a resurgence in interest in the scandal, poor John and his exemplary family are invariably depicted as the victims of ongoing media harassment and distress. 

Many have suggested that his demise was harsh considering that Bill Clinton effectively got away with the same lie.

Unfortunately for John Profumo he told his lies in Parliament where there are very strict rules surrounding being caught.  

On the other hand maybe his was the better deal.  I can’t imagine any schoolboy pinning-up a photo of Monica Lewinsky sitting naked on a chair.

 

 

 image002
The famous Chair

 

My favourite schoolboy joke:

Q: Why is Christine Keeler like a (Stephen) Ward-robe?

A: Because you pull out her draws and the cabinet falls apart.

 

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