Christine Keeler said sex with John Profumo was 'more like a rape'

Christine Keeler said sex with John Profumo was ‘more like a rape – but a smiling one’ in audio tapes unearthed after 35 years

  • Model Christine Keeler had an affair with former war minister John Profumo 
  • New audio tapes have emerged where she talks about her first meeting with him
  • Keeler says Profumo ‘couldn’t take his eyes of her’ at a party in Buckinghamshire 
  • In the tapes she says the former government minister had ‘come on very strong’

English model Christine Keeler said sex with former secretary of state John Profumo had been ‘more like a rape’, as new audio tapes have emerged after 35 years.

Keeler rocked the British establishment when it was discovered that she had been having an affair with Profumo, who at the time was a married government minister.

Keeler had also been involved with Russian diplomat Yevgeny Ivanov.

New tapes, which draw on more than 20 hours of conversation between Keeler and Scotland Yard officials reveal that Keeler had felt Profumo had ‘came on very strong’.

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Christine Keeler (pictured above in 1963) was key figure in the 1963 Profumo Scandal which rocked the government

Mr John Profumo (right) seen with his wife Valerie Hobson (left) in 1960. New tapes have emerged from the time he was having an affair

Captain Yevgeny Ivanov (Died January 1994) a Soviet naval attach at the Russian embassy in London in the late 1950s. He was also engaged in espionage and involved with the Profumo affa

During the tapes, which will be broadcast as part of a documentary on the BBC, Keeler, the model at the centre of the 1963 scandal, describes the now infamous pool party at Cliveden House in Buckinghamshire, where she first met Profumo.

She said Profumo hadn’t been able to take his eyes off her at the party and that he had come over and asked her for her number.

At the time she had been staying at a house in Marylebone which had belonged to osteopath Stephen Ward.

She had been living there rent free and said that Ward had ‘pushed her’ to go to the pool party.

‘I didn’t really want to go but Stephen pushed it. After all he was the war minister. And anyway I went. He came on very strong. I mean more like a rape, but it was a smiling one.’

After the scandal emerged Scotland Yard had assembled a team to ‘find dirt’ on Ward.

As part of this process they interviewed Keeler 24 times, until she gave police the evidence they needed to arrest him, The Times reported.

Officers managed to build a case, painting him as a ‘symbol of of Britain going down the drain’.

John Profumo, the former Secretary of State for War, at the War Office before the scandal of his affair with call-girl Christine Keeler

In one interview, Keeler claimed that Scotland Yard had threatened her, allegedly instructing her that if she didn’t sign a statement she would be ‘going to the dock with Stephen’.

‘I knew then it was Stephen or me. It was all bent. They knew and they forced me to lie’, she said.

The nation was gripped by the revelation that the Secretary of State for War, 46-year-old Profumo, had had an extramarital affair with Keeler, a 19-year-old girl who had once worked as a dancer in a seedy Soho nightclub, and Ward was the man who had introduced them.

To make matters worse, Profumo was romancing Keeler at a time when she was also allegedly sleeping with Ivanov.

The newly uncovered tapes also include excerpts from Keeler’s friend Mandy Rice-Davies. Rice-Davies was a model who was also implicated in the scandal.

She had been interviewed in 1984 for the film Scandal and the recordings made have never been used before.

Most of the documentary centres on the theory that Ward had been used as a scapegoat for Profumo.

It is presented by journalist Tom Mangold who had previously covered the story as a young reporter.

Keeler, Profumo, Ward And Me, will air on Sunday at 10pm on BBC2.

Who was Christine Keeler and what was the Profumo affair?

Born in Middlesex, Christine Keeler moved to London as a teenager and began working at Murray’s Cabaret Club in Soho. 

It was there she met Dr Stephen Ward, a high-flying London osteopath and fixer who ‘procured women’ for leading members of the Establishment, who introduced her to Conservative Minister John Profumo while at a party thrown by Lord and Lady Astor in 1961.

The pair hit the headlines after seven shots were fired at Ward’s house in a quiet Marylebone mews by a jilted boyfriend of Keeler a year later in December 1962.

Ms Keeler’s other lovers have included A-Team actor George Peppard, legendary womaniser Warren Beatty and Prisoner of Zenda star Douglas Fairbanks Jr

Ms Keeler, pictured, met Conservative minister Profumo – 27 years her senior – after leaving her home in Middlesex and working at Murray’s Cabaret Club in Soho

Ms Keeler, pictured right, in a vehicle with her friend Mandy Rice-Davies, who was also implicated in the scandal surrounding the affair

It emerged the then 19-year-old Keeler had been sleeping with former Secretary of State for War John Profumo, then 48, and at the same time a handsome Russian spy Evgeny Ivanov.

But when the news broke, Profumo lied to the House of Commons about his affair. He was soon found out and Keeler sold her story to the News of The World for £23,000.

In June 1963, he quit in disgrace, amid allegations Keeler had been asked by Ivanov to discover from the War Minister when the West Germans might receive U.S. nuclear missiles to be stationed on their soil.

Profumo had been a rising star of the Tory Party, close to Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, a favoured visitor at Buckingham Palace, a war hero and the dashing husband of actress Valerie Hobson, one of the great beauties of her day.

Ms Keeler, whose other lovers have included A-Team actor George Peppard, legendary womaniser Warren Beatty and Prisoner of Zenda star Douglas Fairbanks Jr, said in an interview years later that the Establishment was far more interested in painting it as a sex scandal and chose to ignore whispered claims of a widespread spying network. 

Christine died aged 75 in December 2017.

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