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Nov Advocate 2017

THE ADVOCATE 937 VOL. 75 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2017 Ward had an arrangement with Lord Astor where he would rent a cottage on the estate for the princely sum of £1 per year in exchange for providing osteopathic services to Astor and his many influential friends. On a weekend in early July 1961 Ward was entertaining Keeler and a Russian diplomat and spy named Eugene Ivanov at the Cliveden cottage. Keeler was splashing about having a naked swim in the outdoor pool when Lord Astor and John Profumo who were strolling the vast grounds of Cliveden (together with their wives and other guests) stumbled upon the partying trio. Somehow in Keeler’s panicked attempt to cover herself up, she ran straight into the arms of Profumo. After some embarrassed introductions, the group returned to the large house on the estate and the partying continued. Indeed, it was over that weekend that Profumo and Ivanov found themselves competing for Keeler’s attention. Profumo managed to obtain Keeler’s phone number from Ward, but Ward also arranged for Keeler to be driven back to his Wimpole Mews flat by Ivanov. Once there, Keeler invited Ivanov up for a tea to which Ivanov brought his own bottle of vodka. They spent the night together. Meanwhile Profumo started his own relationship with Keeler who was about 30 years his junior. Their first date was in his Rolls Royce on a drive through London. They would also use Ward’s flat in Wimpole Mews, as well as Profumo’s own home; they even had sex in Regent’s Park. According to Lord Denning: “Mr. Profumo wrote two or three notes to Christine Keeler and gave her one or two presents such as perfume and a cigarette lighter. She said her parents were badly off and he gave her £20 for them, realising that this was a polite way on her part of asking for money for her services.” Eighteen months later as the scandal was gaining speed, Keeler wanted to sell her story to the press. Profumo and Astor attempted to pay Keeler £5,000 if she withdrew the story and left the country. Meanwhile, Profumo threatened to sue the press if they printed the allegations. The story did not run, but pressure was mounting within the Conservative party as suggestions flew about Keeler having been involved with “a minister”. The Home Secretary suggested that the opposition should “seek other means of making these insinuations if they are prepared to substantiate them”. Meanwhile, within his own party, it was suggested that Profumo assert his innocence in the House. On March 22, 19632 Profumo stood in the House and acknowledged friendships with Keeler and Ward and confirmed having met “a Mr. Ivanov”, however he went on to state that “there was no impropriety whatsoever in my acquaintanceship with Miss Keeler … I shall not hesitate to issue writs for libel and slander if scandalous allegations are made or repeated outside


Nov Advocate 2017
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