“It [The ghost-written book] got me right, it has got me emotionally right. There’s one word I don’t like: ‘Ruining my life may not seem very important to some, considering what I was, just a pretty scrubber…’ I wanted them to change it to ‘tart.’ ‘Scrubber’ implies someone who can’t talk properly and wears horrible clothes, but I always spoke well and had good clothes. I’ve always had a bit of class to me. I’m sure Jack Profumo wouldn’t have gone out with a scrubber. Perhaps they should have written ‘just a pretty nobody.’”
Christine Keeler — Interview by Simon Hoggart about her second autobiography (The Observer – March 13, 1983)
Christine Keeler, the model embroiled in the 1963 Profumo affair, has died aged 75. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
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In 1963, at the height of the Cold War, Christine Keeler — then a teenager — had an affair with Conservative cabinet minister John Profumo.
At the same time, she also was in a relationship with a Russian diplomat — Eugene Ivanov, an assistant naval attaché at the Soviet Embassy .
Not surprinsingly, opposition MPs voiced concerns about national security implications.
At first, Mr Profumo told the House of Commons that he and Ms Keeler were “on friendly terms” and there was “no impropriety” in their relationship.
But eventually Mr Profumo admitted lying to the house and resigned as Secretary of State for War and from the Commons.
About the “Profumo Affair”
The resignation on 5 June 1963 of John Profumo as minister of war in Harold Macmillan’s Conservative government was a great event in postwar British history.
It decisively influenced the 1964 general election – which was almost as momentous in its repercussions as the Labour victory in 1945 or Margaret Thatcher’s win in 1979.
Harold Wilson’s Labour party won in 1964 by just four seats. It did so because of a brilliant campaign run by the Daily Mirror in the fortnight before polling day.
The Mirror harked on memories of the recent Profumo affair to depict the traditional Conservative ruling class as out-of-touch, over-privileged, effete, depraved, amateurish and backward-looking – “toffs”, in fact.
Ironically, the Labour leadership, with its reliance on trade union bosses, its fudged economic strategy and commitment to nationalised industries was just as narrow and regressive as the Tories.
The Profumo affair, ultimately, was a national crisis from whose aftershocks we are all still suffering. [Guardian]
The Profumo affair will be the subject of a BBC One drama which begins filming next year.
The woman at the heart of the Profumo scandal, Christine Keeler, dies aged 75
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