Secrets and Lies Paperback
Christine Keeler's name is as synonymous with the Sixties sexual revolution as the Pill.
Having found fame and success as a model - the portrait of her naked astride a chair is iconic - her short affair with the minister for war, John Profumo, led to his downfall at the end of Harold Macmillan's Conservative government, and was at the heart of the social and political earthquake that followed.
She became the subject of scandal, intrigue and gossip and was tried for perjury and briefly jailed following the death of Stephen Ward, the socialite who had introduced her to Profumo.
Now that those directly involved are no longer alive, Christine is finally able to tell the full story of that extraordinary time.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 288 pages
- Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd
- Publication Date: 27/03/2014
- Category: Autobiography: general
- ISBN: 9781782198963
- Hardback from £12.45
- EPUB from £3.99
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Review by AdonisGuilfoyle
Like most people, I suspect, my awareness of Christine Keeler and the Profumo Affair of the 1960s comes from the film <i>Scandal</i>, with Joanne Whalley playing Christine. Also, the soundbite, 'He would, wouldn't he?', from fellow good time girl Mandy Rice-Davies is always quotable. This autobiography, however, is Christine's story, in (more or less) her own words. A 'mixed-up, lovesick young girl' who 'slept with the Secretary of State for War. And a Soviet Spy' while having 'lived with and worked for Stephen Ward, another Russian agent'. Or, to put a different slant on the matter, 'my life has been cursed by sex I didn't particularly want', and 'it is staggering when I contemplate what role I played'. Christine is very believable when admitting to how young - she was only seventeen when she first met Ward - and naive she was, hopping from bed to bed and making a life out of stupid decisions. The name dropping (and further bed-hopping) gets a bit tiresome post-Profumo - George Peppard, Warren Beatty - and her protestations of being fitted up, guv, are a slightly overwrought, but her frustration is probably understandable. (She claims that Ward used her as an alibi and scapegoat for his own treasonous double-dealings during the Cold War, and the Denning Report covered up for him and the establishment by trashing Christine's reputation.) I struggled more with Christine's creative spin on her youthful stupidity - all the men she slept with really feared her powers of perception and so had to 'keep her quiet', whether through court cases or death threats - and her claim that she always put her sons first. Hm.Pinch of salt at the ready, Christine tells a cracking story, and really transports the reader back to 1960s London, with her descriptions of 'swinging' parties and sordid revelations of the upper classes. And for good or ill, she has become a British icon, posing on a chair for the camera.