I was asked, not too long ago, if there was any way I could prove that Christine was not a prostitute - if, for example, I had old tax returns showing her income from modelling or something like that. The very idea of the Christine doing a tax return makes me smile and I think the question was less about proving my mother wasn't working as a prostitute and more about finding a piece of evidence to show that Stephen Ward couldn’t have been living off her immoral earnings. No, I don't have her tax returns because of course she didn’t do tax returns, but equally it’s obvious Stephen Ward wasn't living off her immoral earnings.
I have spent a lot of time researching the events around Christine being assaulted in April 1963 and the follow up trials for her application for mercy and there is an amazing amount of hard information out there in press and court records and it’s quite easy to find.
Going through these court records you can trip over some interesting exchanges that add more colour to the wider story. For example Paul Mann, who was a bridge playing friend of Stephen Ward, was called by the prosecution to give evidence at Christine’s preliminary hearing at Marylebone Magistrates’ Court on 28 October 1963. He was questioned about a trip to Spain with Christine in March earlier that year, and he was asked whether he was trying to sell a photo of somebody famous pictured with Christine. The famous person in the picture remained unnamed, but Paul Mann was allegedly asking for £2000 to hand it over, a huge amount of money in 1963. We can only wonder who was the man in the picture. (Press record pictured)
I like this piece from the court case, because at one stage Paul Mann was asked what his business was that took him to Spain, he answered, “That is my business.” The barrister then asked, “Do you refuse to answer that question?” and he said, “I refuse to answer.” I have never been asked a question in court, so it never occurred to me you can tell the court to mind its own business!
I think back now and Christine had lots of sayings she would throw out and most of them would drive me crazy.
“Never listen to the words in a song, just listen to the music.” She used to say this one a lot and it used to drive me crazy.
“The words are part of the song” I would argue.
“Don’t listen to the words! It’s just somebody else’s story that mostly don’t make sense anyway, just feel the music.” We would argue about this often and she was convinced that she was absolutely right, the lyrics to songs were not necessary and she couldn’t understand why I couldn’t understand that.
One day after she had dropped that expression again I said, “What about opera? If you don't listen to the words you don't know what’s going on”
“Seems,” - she would call me Seems -”they are singing in a foreign language, so you won’t understand it anyway!” she replied. “Anyway, I’ve been to opera and you do understand it without the words.” She might have had a point about opera I didn’t actually know enough about it to argue with her.
She had another expression that used to get under my skin. “Whatever someone says, apply it to themselves.” Christine would throw this expression out when somebody had said something nasty about someone and every time I would ask, “What does that mean?” When I got older and I would put an ‘even’ in my question “What does that even mean,” because this expression drove me crazy.
She would explain, “If somebody says something horrible, then really they are talking about themselves. If someone calls you a liar, it’s because they are a liar”.
“That makes no sense,” I would argue. “If I called you a mad old woman, does that mean I am the mad old woman?”
She would laugh at that and say, “I may be mad, but I’m not old,” but she would say same expression the next time anyone had something nasty to say.
She also used to say, “What people say doesn't matter, it’s what people do that matters”. As a young man I didn't understand this either and I would argue, “What about all the beautiful things people have said or written? They matter”.
Lots of people have written books and opinion pieces on my mother’s life, some of which are better than others, but it does strike me that so many books and opinion pieces have been written by people who clearly didn’t do even the most basic research.
Christine would get really angry if people who told the story of her life and were wrong with any detail. For her it was an unforgivable act. You might think you are right, or you may even be mistaken but for Christine there was no excuse. For my mother, truth was real and tangible, it could be hard to find, it could take a lot of work to get at it, but it was something you could almost touch.
Christine made some scathing private notes about things people had got wrong when telling her story, in her eyes it was not about poor research or misremembered an event, in her eyes it was an unforgivable lie.
So Christine used to tell me, “What people say doesn't matter, it’s what people do that matters,” and for her I think she had a point. Maybe all of these little expressions meant the same thing, sometimes people lie and there are even some people that lie a lot and sometimes people tell stories they think are true.
So don't believe what one person says, if it’s important, do the research, find the proof.
Lastly a quick reminder about the campaign to pardon Christine, and why we are doing it.
In 1963 Christine Keeler famously went to prison
Not because she had made up an assault - because she didn’t
Not because somebody else had slapped her earlier that night
Not because a drunken conversation was recorded
But because she denied that two witnesses were there when she was assaulted
So why does it matter?
It is time to forgive my mother, so as to better understand our history, or for her family, or just because she was a human being.
It is time to free Christine Keeler
This week Christine got her entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, a record of national figures who have helped shape Great Britain. I think you get your mention a few years after your death, so I am again reminded of the story Christine would tell me about what Stanley Baker said to her. Stanley Baker, probably best known for his starring role in Zulu, said, “Christine, you are the most famous person here, we’re all actors and we will be forgotten, but you, Christine, you are in the history books forever.”
We have just finished another draft of the pardon document and are really pleased with how it is shaping up. So fingers crossed it won’t be too long, but these are strange times.
Some memories are much harder than others to write down and share but they are just as important as they paint a more rounded picture of our lives. This year I wanted to talk more about the price that Christine Keeler paid.
It wasn't long after Christine was released from prison she met James Levermore. She said he was sweet with a great personality, he was educated and chose to work as a labourer in the outdoors. They fell in love, a whirlwind romance, and in 1965 they were married at Reading Registry Office. It was a normal wedding, her family all came too. Her mother and step-father, her grandmother and one of her aunties, who being more or less the same age as Christine, was like a sister. Of course the press were there too, so maybe not an entirely normal wedding.
Christine wanted to start afresh, she would play the part of a wife and play the part of being happy and maybe even for a time she was. A few months later she was pregnant with my half-brother James and things started to come apart. At the hospital she went into a panic, in fact a complete meltdown. “You are trying to kill me,” she said to the doctors.
One of the team that night in the maternity ward was West Indian and maybe because of the drugs they gave her something snapped, maybe she thought Gordon was there or maybe she thought it was a friend of his, but that night going in for her Caesarean section she was terrified they were going to kill her.
Christine went home with her new baby and played the part of a new mother and housewife but something was wrong, she was desperately unhappy. She was struggling to bond with her son Jimmy. She said, “I didn't feel he was mine at all.”
Christine then became convinced that her husband was going off with other women, because, why would any man want to be with Christine Keeler! She was so insecure, she would secretly follow him to work to make sure he wasn’t seeing other women. Her suspicions and insecurity destroyed her marriage.
The marriage was over and her husband James left. Christine had a three month old baby who was a stranger to her. Her mother stepped in and offered to help, she would look after Jimmy until Christine felt better. They used to call it the baby blues but now we call it post-natal depression and it is surprisingly common. I don't know if it was linked to the bad experience when Jimmy was born or finding herself trapped or maybe it was everything, but Christine was very sick.
Jimmy never came to live with Chris, her mother would always find a reason to extend his stay. She would tell Christine, “You’re not settled enough to look after a child,” or, “The baby is holding my marriage together”. So days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and months turned into years.
Five years later Christine remarried and Jimmy still wasn't with her, and then I was born. I had moved around so much inside Chris that my umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck, so it had to be an emergency C-section. Christine used to tell me that the doctors asked, “If it’s a choice, who do we save: the mother of the baby?” and Christine told me she said, “Save my baby,” and, no, I don’t really believe that story, but she never let me leave her side. So maybe it’s true!
I met her mother, my grandmother, only a few times. I stayed there for a week one summer when I was seven; according to Christine they didn't want me back again, I was too much hard work and it upset Jimmy.
The last time we saw either Jimmy or Christine’s mother was at the Worlds End Estate in 1988. I can’t remember how it came up, but Christine was saying, “At least tell him I bought your house for you.” I think Christine wanted to show Jimmy she had done something for him. She wanted to show him she wasn't “just a bum”.
Then we argued some more because Christine’s mother talked about all the “black faces” in London and how frightening she found it. I was only 16 or 17 and said, “That’s what Hitler would have said,” and they left and we never saw them again. I have sometimes wondered if I was the one who went too far that night.
Christine sent them birthday and Christmas cards and even tried to call them over the years, but it was done.
Looking back, strangely, I have no recollection of ever talking to my grandmother, of ever making eye contact or being hugged. I always thought she was a cold woman.
I once asked Christine if she had any regrets, she thought about it for a while and said, “My cat, Thomas, I took him to the vet too late. I think he suffered and I blame myself for that’
Now I am a parent and I think to myself, of course that’s what she would say to her son. Of course she had regrets, but what else could she say?
Jimmy was her one major regret.
I do hope that this year is better than last year for everyone, and I must admit I look forward with optimism. We have vaccines rolling out across the world, where I live in the northern hemisphere the winter solstice has passed and each day is longer than the last. 2020 saw many stories come to an end and chapters close and it is my hope that 2021 brings healing peace and a coming together.
I also want to see a pardon for my mother for her crime of being attacked by a man who had a history of violence against her, in fact just a history of violence. I am currently working on a family statement to be added to our application for pardon, it has been James Harbridge’s idea to talk a bit about the personal and family impact of my mother’s conviction in 1963, to write a victim impact statement type of thing. It’s been much harder and more emotional than I thought, but does focus the three reasons why what we are doing is so important: To correct the story that is our history about those events, for her family, and most importantly for her, because she was a human being.
When I was a child I had a toy gun, it was a Luger, or that was what was written down the side. It was painted black metal and quite a lot of the paint had chipped away so it looked mottled with silver. There was no grip - it had broken off on its travels, so it was awkward to hold and a very sorry looking toy. I remember the toy gun because on more than one occasion Chris held it in her hand and told me or told friends, “This is a real gun to protect me from Lucky Gordon, if he comes here I will shoot him”.
This story doesn't end with ‘and It was a real gun!’ It is not that type of story, but hopefully it illustrates how I grew up understanding that Gordon was a real threat. There is another thing the story illustrates that is harder to write, because I can’t tell you that my mother always knew herself that it was just a toy gun. Fear is a strange partner.
In these blogs I have talked a lot about my mother’s humanity, something that I always felt was missing from the story of Christine Keeler. It is harder to talk about the price that my mother paid for being Christine Keeler. All stories have context and Christine Keeler was quite damaged by what happened to her in 1963 - that much must be obvious to anyone, but it is also true that my mother always loved me and did all any mother could do to keep me safe. I plan to talk about this more on the blog.
I have been doing a lot of reading on perjury in the English courts, how it is used and what it means. I believe that the charge of perjury was used as weapon against my mother, a tool to punish her, and to mangle the words of Mandy Rice-Davies “I would say that, wouldn’t I?”
In 2015 Andy Coulson, the ex-editor of The News of the World, was charged with perjury, and he was acquitted. Mr Coulson had lied on oath but in Judge Lord Burns’ view, “Not every lie is perjury,” and the lie did not change the course of the trial. Link
There are not that many perjury cases, over the last 100 years they average out at 150 per year - Link
But I do wonder how many of those charged with perjury are women, women who have claimed they have been assaulted or raped. It’s interesting research and there seem to be a number of people doing the same research raising real concerns about how historically the courts have ‘aggressively’ prosecuted woman with perjury where their initial assault charges couldn’t be proved.
Katie Baker has written a few articles on the subject, here is one on buzzfeed - Link
Woman Against Rape have run a six year campaign with concerns about the use of perjury against the victims of abuse.
If rape, stalking and physical assault is really about power, as is often claimed, isn’t the ultimate show of power seeing your victim go to prison for what you did to them?I wonder how powerful Lucky Gordon felt when Christine went to prison.
I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to think that perjury was used to punish my mother, In fact I don’t think she would be the only victim of this weapon, even now.
I will leave you with another story to show how Christine had power taken away from her and how that can impact those around her. A long time ago in the early 1990s I did some bookkeeping work for Freddie’s Model Agency, invoices and payments, things like that. One morning I went up to their stairs and in the hall as you entered their upstairs office was a huge three metre tall poster of a model sitting in that chair in that pose, made to look just like my mother. It was an advertising campaign for bread with the slogan, “It tastes great with nothing on”. It featured one of their models and putting the poster up was a deliberate gesture to embarrass me or maybe to embarrass my father, as the owners were friends.
As mortified as the young me was to be confronted by that massive poster at my place of work, it could still be taken as just good fun. I did know that Christine would not have received a penny from a campaign like this, and seeing her used always stung me a bit.
So I was mortified by the poster and I had a vague sense of injustice, but I wasn't going to let anyone else see that, The one thing I can’t remember was who tried to give me a lesson on that poster and about that campaign. knowing full well who my mother was, they told me with some pride about this wonderfully clever idea, how it get around copyright and how unimportant that original model was, “You are just piggy backing, riffing, off a cultural icon, the picture that is not Christine Keeler, she was only a model and not even a very good one I hear”
I swallowed a lot of pride, that poster was on the wall every time I went there. If I had been older and braver I would have pointed out the obvious: “She so unimportant and yet you are still using her to sell your bread”
Incidentally, the model from the campaign, Helena de Bondt, sent me a kind message when Christine passed. So while some people think models are unimportant, at least some have their humanity.
2020 is fast coming to a close. This year has meant turmoil for everyone, a lot of people have been financially and emotionally impacted by this pandemic, others have been luckier and just inconvenienced by this new normal. My family and I are looking forward to Christmas together and are hoping that nothing stops that from happening, that we all remain well and hoping that next year is better for everyone.
This time last year the BBC drama The Trial of Christine Keeler was about to air and our campaign to recognise that Chris should never had gone to prison was about to start. My life changed as I understood what Chris had asked me to do in her will: “To make sure that the truth is told about events of which I took part during my lifetime”.
Christine Keeler was not a prostitute and Christine Keeler was not a liar. Christine Keeler, and she would have hated me saying it, was a victim.
There are of course people who will say, “...but she was a liar, she lied on oath when she said two men did not witness a crime” but when those two men made it clear to Christine they wanted nothing to do with the police, when those two men washed their hands of any responsibility to help convict a man who had assaulted her, Christine had a terrible choice - either don’t mention the witnesses to the police or just don’t report the assault, those were her choices.
“Or just don’t report the assault” - and face yet another assault by Lucky Gordon, and next time it could be worse, what a terrible choice.
There is a story I was told recently by someone who interviewed one of the police officers who was there in 1963. When Christine was questioned in connection with Stephen Ward the ex-police officer said, “We knew Christine was a prostitute because at the end of the interview she took the uneaten sandwiches with her. That is something prostitutes do and that is how we knew”
If only she had left those sandwiches. Would our history be different today?
For some of us the world has changed a lot since 1963. Chris told me how they would eat a lot of vegetarian spaghetti bolognese, which was basically spaghetti and tinned tomatoes, and there were of course a lot of sandwiches. She saw an avocado in the early sixties and at the time she thought they looked like a very bad idea!
After the exhibition I went out with friends, including one of Christine’s old friends, Desmond Banks, and we had a few drinks, laughed together and had a glass of scotch, Christine’s favourite tipple. Thanks to the pandemic that would have been one of the last times I was out with friends.
This website was published and lots of you sent kind messages and still do. A lawyer, James Harbridge, made contact and offered to help with Christine’s pardon, pro bono, and with lots of hard work he took a campaign page on a website and turned it into a legal document and so much more.
Felicity Gerry QC has taken on the fight pro bono and by the end of 2020 I feel we have a chance of correcting a part of history, telling that ‘truth’ that Christine talked about in her will.
2020 has had its downs, but it’s had some ups.
Merry Christmas everybody, may you love and may you be loved too.
It’s been an interesting week. More of you have come forward asking to help, which has been brilliant. Any help is much appreciated; even just telling friends about this really helps. It has also been a little frustrating at times, with one journalist telling me that the story I’m trying to tell is too complicated for their readers.
I was laughing the other day when reading through Christine’s original manuscript It was a comment about how tough her stepfather Ted was, when she was a child. She tells a story about falling out of a moving car and another one about pets being drowned, but the line that made me laugh was something she said Ted used to say to her: Ted used to tell me, “Wish in one hand and spit in the other, and see which one gets filled up first”.
It is a dark enough expression to use, the glass is definitely half empty with this expression, only this wasn't quite what Ted would say, it was:
“Wish in one hand and SHIT in the other, and see which one gets filled up first”
That was just Christine being polite, being a little discreet. I remember Christine speaking on the phone with a different voice, her telephone voice. That was the generation she was from, it is not lying, it is just not wanting to be rude.
A student reached out a few weeks ago asking about Christine’s campaign and they mentioned how after reading Christine’s Wikipedia page they where given no idea about Lucky Gordon and his history with Christine. It is true that her Wikipedia page glazes over some important aspects of her story and in some places is just plain wrong.
It is frustrating because I have made one or two changes on Wikipedia only to see them taken out again!
Here are some examples:
Wikipedia Says: The exact length of the affair between Keeler and Profumo is disputed, ending either in August 1961, once Profumo was warned by the security services of the possible dangers of mixing with the Ward circle, or continuing with decreasing fervour until December 1961.
I wanted to add: Christine said that the relationship ended in December 1961 and, in his statement to the House, Profumo said he last saw Christine in December.
Wikipedia says: ... Yevgeny Ivanov. According to Keeler, she and Ivanov had a short sexual relationship.
I wanted to add/change:
After an evening drinking vodka, Christine and Ivanov had a one-time sexual relationship - Ivanov confirmed Christine’s account in his 1992 book ‘The Naked Spy”.
The Wikipedia line implies that Christine lied about this. You will notice this as a trend throughout her Wikipedia page.
Wikipedia says: After her relationship with Profumo ended, Keeler was sexually involved with several partners, including jazz
So this is what I wanted to change it to:
In October 1961 Christine met Lucky Gordon when buying cannabis for her and Stephen Ward. Christine alleges that Lucky Gordon, who had a record of violence against woman, started an 18 month campaign of intimidation and harassment and assaulted her on numerous occasions. In May 1962 Christine and Michael Lambton were briefly engaged. In Sept 1962 Christine met jazz promoter Johnny Edgecombe and they started a relationship. On 27 October 1962, while Christine and Johnny were out dancing, there was a dispute with Lucky Gordon that ended with Edgecombe slashing Gordon’s face with a knife.
Wikipedia says: On the 18th of April 1963, Keeler was attacked at the home of a friend. She accused Gordon, who was arrested and charged. At his trial, which began on the 5th of June, he maintained that his innocence would be established by two witnesses who, the police told the court, could not be found. On the 7th of June, mainly on the evidence of Keeler, Gordon was found guilty and sentenced to three years' imprisonment.
It’s just not true that Gordon said the two witnesses would establish his innocence, he just didn't say that. Gordon argued that although he had hit Christine, he wasn’t responsible for all of her injuries and that she had run into a door whilst trying to get away from him. The police doctor’s evidence was also key in Gordon’s conviction.
Wikipedia says: Ward's trial, which ran from the 22nd to the 31st of July 1963, has been characterised as "an act of political revenge" for the embarrassment caused to the government. He was accused of living off immoral earnings, earned through Keeler
Wikipedia says: Gordon's assault conviction was overturned by the Court of Appeal when his missing witnesses were found and testified that the evidence given by Keeler was substantially false
What I wanted to change it to was: Gordon's assault conviction was overturned by the Court of Appeal when his missing witnesses were found on the basis that Christine had lied about the two other men being present at the assault.
Wikipedia says: ... she was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment, serving four and a half months in prison.
This should say: serving six months.
The changes I wanted to make are supported with actual evidence. The entry is not complete, but I hope the changes tell the story more clearly and objectively. I also believe it removes some of the malice in the text. Lastly, it is Christine’s Wikipedia page, so it should tell her story. Maybe there are some people out there who just want to think that Christine lied about everything. Maybe some people who support Stephen Ward can’t hide a certain contempt for Christine and Mandy or maybe some people don't actually know the story as well as they think they do.
When I was young Christine would take the palm of my hand and tell me there was a big farm right there in my hand. She pointed to the field were they grew potatoes and where the cows were kept, and on my hand she would point at the farmhouse and a greenhouse for the tomatoes. Finally she would ask me, “What do you think is here, in the middle of the farm?” and she would point at the middle of my hand. “It’s a duck pond,” she said as a big drop of spit landed in the middle of the farm. It was gross but it was funny and sometimes that’s what families are.
But I am sure there are some people who will now say that Christine had a nasty habit of spitting at people.
Today is Christine’s anniversary, she died three years ago on the 4th December 2017. I thought I should post the foreword I wrote for the re-issue of her book - Secrets and Lies. I am sure some of you may have already seen it, but it was the first time I had written anything about Chris and some of it was taken from her eulogy so it seems apt.
I never met Christine Keeler.
For me my mother was always Christine Sloane. She changed her name to get away from being Christine Keeler. In our house Christine Keeler was talked about in the third person ‘who would want to be associated with Christine Keeler?’. Christine Keeler would get the blame for lots of things that happened. Friends, family, relationships that had soured, that would be Christine Keeler’s fault.
I wanted to give a flavour of the person I knew, the human being and not the ‘Sixties icon, not the sex symbol and not the victim.
I was born ten years after the Profumo affair, and those events were always a part of our lives. Stories about some fabled ‘man in the mask’ who was at upmarket orgies, or the rumours of doctors and nurses with President Kennedy, or who was spying for the Russians. My mother always did hold her cards very close to her chest even from me. ‘If you want to keep a secret,’ she would say, ‘tell no one’.
My mother paid a high price for Christine Keeler, she went from riches to poverty, from all the adoration of men to loneliness. She called herself a scapegoat and when we bickered, I would call her a martyr on a cross.
Christine was a fantastic driver: she loved driving and loved driving fast. ‘Start accelerating as you’re coming out of a corner, get your speed up for when you straighten up,’ she used to tell me. That was a big surprise for the instructor on my first driving lesson.
She told me when she was much younger, she nearly raced at Le Mans, and after she was released from prison, she would speed round London in her Mini Cooper until the police gave chase. ‘They couldn’t catch me. They had to put road blocks up to stop me and when they did I would say:
‘I’m Christine Keeler and they would have to let me go because it would look like I was being victimised by the police after what Denning did to me.’
In the early 1990s she was living in Clapham and was asked for an interview on a TV show in Birmingham; I can’t remember the name of the show but it was on the BBC. She didn’t want to go but we were poor, and it was £250 cash. We both jumped in her battered old red Renault and flew up the M1. When we arrived, there was no cash. Suddenly, it was not the BBC’s policy to pay cash.
‘Christine you must understand it’s a live show, there is a presenter, a studio audience other guests: you need to stop being difficult and get on with it,’ one of the BBC production people told her. Chris wasn’t having any of it. No cash, no interview. It felt like a room full of hostile people all acting like she was being difficult or unreasonable. They turned to me: ‘Can you speak to your mother?’ She was told there would be cash for this interview, that cash would pay for the petrol back, for food, she was not being difficult, she was making the only choice left to her, she wasn’t rich and powerful with a world of choices.
The cash arrived just before the show went live, she puts on her make-up and did the show. On the way back to London the gear box on the Renault slipped on the motorway and she could only get the car into third. She had to drive from Birmingham to south London in third gear: ‘We can’t stop for anything, I won’t get it going again.’ She didn’t stop, she was a very good driver.
In the late 1980’s the film Scandal came out, and things got a little easier for a while. She had sold an option to make the film about five years before for a few thousand pounds, when we were very poor. They had six years to make the film or they would need to pay Chris more money to extend it and just before time was up production started. There was a lot of this through the years, people managing to not pay Chris in the nick of time, publishers going bust -- after everyone else was paid -- or ex-husbands not having to pay child support even when they lived in large houses and drove big, flashy cars.
I would have been about seventeen when Chris had been paid a few thousand pounds to go to the premier of Scandal and we both got to walk down the red carpet in Leicester Square. Bob Geldof and Paula Yates sat next to us in a cinema packed with 1980s celebrities. The Pet Shop boys and Dusty Springfield had a song [ ‘Nothing Has Been Proved’,1989] at number two in the charts in both the UK and US about my mother.
It all led to an American release for Scandal and in fact it did pretty well in America for someone, and it was one of the top UK movies there for a long time. We went all around America and she advertised the film. I remember we were in the Ritz Carlton on Central Park and watched the Hillsborough disaster on the news; 96 people died when they went to watch a football game and the Press where already blaming the fans. I clearly remember her saying ‘That’s crap, those bastards just let those people die, and now they are going to cover it up”. Decades later she was proved right. I think she understood how police, press and politicians worked.
Coming in to America through customs we were bickering, probably because I was a teenager. ‘Hold this’ she said and gave me a scrunched up tissue. She always had scrunched up tissues. I protested and we bickered more as she got our passports ready and we bickered past customs to a waiting car. ‘Give me my tissue back’ she asked and opened it and inside there was a small lump of cannabis. ‘I’m going to need this for my nerves,’ she said. She liked a smoke.
While in America we were contacted by a family living on a Native American reservation they were related on her father’s side and they were keen to make contact. Chris wasn’t very interested. I think she was a little embarrassed: it was a different time. We talked about it over the years, she seemed to think her father who had been put up for adoption and was originally Native American, I never did find out for sure.
Chris was a terrible cook. She would say: ‘I’m not a good cook, but I do have one or two dishes that I’m ok with.’ That was a lie for she was a terrible cook. One Christmas she put the small turkey in the oven, put the gas on low but forgot to light it. Half an hour later we could smell gas, she jumped up, opened doors and windows.
She had gassed the turkey, our Christmas dinner tasted of gas, and she had made some sort of gravy from its juices and poured this gas tasting juice over everything, and she started laughing. She was a terrible cook.
She used to laugh, really laugh, we played tricks on one another. I told her once you can get rid of dark under your eyes with just a dab of Deep Heat then rub it in. ‘You bastard’ she screamed her eyes streaming and both of us rolling around laughing. Don’t worry she would have got her own back with an equally devious prank.
Family and friends came and went, but I don’t think it was ever Christine Keeler’s fault, money would have been part of it, some friends and even family disappear when you lose all your money. We went on a trip to Brazil when I was five, she was doing interviews, so it was a working trip, whilst we were there everything seemed to change, all the money was suddenly gone, I even think we were stuck there for a while, but we came back to London things were hard for Chris, we stayed in friends’ flats, we even stayed in squats.
Chris had a great friend called Professor Dennis Evans, we stayed in his spare room for a while. Dennis used to keep exotic pets, scorpions, spiders and snakes, one morning he poked my head into our room and announced: ‘I’ve lost the scorpions, one is very nasty, so shake your shoes before you put them on’. We ended up in a council estate. Chris was in trouble with the tax man and there was no money. There are pictures of her around this time, and she is very thin, it wasn’t for fashion. When Professor Dennis Evans died of cancer many years later Chris didn’t go to his funeral, and afterwords she told me it was because she was so damn angry at him for dying.
I remember her mother, my grandmother, wasn’t a warm woman. When I was very young, six or seven we went to visit then where they lived in Berkshire. My brother Jimmy didn’t live with us but lived with her mother and stepfather and for me always had. They all lived in the house Chris brought her mother during better times. I was playing with the family dog, a collie, and her stepfather started pretending to set the dog on me: ‘Go on attack, go on boy.’
It was all clearly a joke. I was six and knew a joke when I saw it, but mother went mad. ‘Don’t threaten my boy, don’t joke around like that,’ she screamed and she shouted and really stood up to him. I didn’t know then all the pain he had caused her when she was a young girl. Then we saw less of them, then we didn’t see them at all.
Families sometimes break and sometimes mothers and fathers don’t have any love for their children, but I always knew my mother loved me, always.
The smoking took its toll and she died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on my birthday, December 4, 2017. I posted a statement on Facebook and we told the Press, and all that media craziness started again, TV and newspapers wanting quotes and stories.
The BBC news called to say that although we, her family, had told them they didn’t have enough sources for the story that Christine Keeler was dead. They weren’t going to run it, but they could run the story if I came to their studio and did a live interview that night. Then they would report it. I explained that my mother has just died and the last place I wanted to be was on telly.
This moment in time didn’t belong to us, it belonged to the press again.
I went to see her laid to rest in the hospital. I was with my wife and my oldest friend Mark, and she lay there still and peaceful in a hospital gown. My friend leaned in and whispered: She would be so annoyed us standing here and her without her make-up on.’
I half expected her to sit up and laugh.
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I hope this blog finds you well, and thank you for finding this page.
It has been another really busy week. I was interviewed by Kevin O’Sullivan on talk radio last Saturday, and by Ryan Tubridy on RTÉ radio on Tuesday morning. There were also some press interviews, and I wrote a piece for a magazine and all will be out soon. I am trying to get Christine’s Campaign out there.
Having a mild form of dyslexia the writing of blogs and articles takes a lot of time and energy. I find writing professional emails and letters straightforward enough, its mostly terminology or standard phrases that you just get used to typing out, but creative writing is much harder. So it only seems fair to thank any readers for their patience if they trip over my typos on this website. I am happy to be told about them and I do update them.
I get some readers’ questions about Chris and I wanted to answer some this week. I was asked about Christine and how she felt about being photographed as she got older, and it is a brilliant question because I think it says a lot about the person I grew up with.
I am often asked for personal pictures of Christine and family pictures and the truth is, there aren’t very many at all. We forget now how easy it is to take pictures, but when I was growing up, we didn’t have a camera, as they were expensive and film was expensive too.
I was given an old camera by a friend of my mother’s. It was in a brown leather case and had a heavy lens. It just needed film and I remember thinking it was very beautiful. I had recently met my father and he was very wealthy, so Christine suggested that next time I saw my father maybe I could ask him to get some film and the very next Saturday I was due to see him I took my camera with me to his large house in Chelsea.
I remember there were friends of his there when I showed him the camera and I told him I just needed film, but my father said something along the lines of - it needs film so he could see why I brought it now, but he was looking at his friends when he said it
and the grown ups gave each other knowing looks. It made me feel like the poor child from a council estate even though I knew it was a dig at Christine. I was very young but I felt humiliated, so I left the camera there and I never saw it again. Sometimes when a marriage breaks down it ‘salts the earth’ and the hate between two people colours everything.
Chris hated having pictures taken of her. She would put her hand in front of cameras and say “no no”. Part of that was about vanity. She would say “how old I look”.
We talked about getting old and she would say “I still feel eighteen, inside... but then I catch myself in the mirror!” And we would laugh and talk about covering all the mirrors in the house like the crazy old ladies in literature. “I’m not a crazy old lady” and we would laugh even more, because she was a bit.
Chris also said how she worried that personal pictures could just appear in the papers. She worried about that. At some stage she was betrayed to the press by nearly every member of her family, so Imagine the betrayal she would have felt if a picture taken by her son hit the papers? It would be too much. Imagine how I would feel if I betrayed her that way? We only once asked Christine for a picture and that was with her granddaughter a few weeks before she passed. She was so happy having that picture taken, talking to her about modelling shots and asking her granddaughter “What is your best side?” in a photo.
There are only a few pictures of Christine and I. A few photos from my wedding, press pictures from the movie Scandal, and one picture from when I was young that I have already posted on an earlier blog, and that is it. But thats ok I don't need anymore, I was there.
Just to let you all know we have released a campaign image to help with some of the costs in running this website and with Christine’s campaign. We also need help spreading the word about our campaign to pardon Christine so please let friends know, like and share posts. It all helps.
Introducing new audio blog extra!!
This week has been both exciting and exhausting with The Times reporting how Felicity Gerry QC has been engaged to help to get Christine a pardon. I am so delighted Felicity accepted this brief and she comes with a wealth of expertise. Felicity has taken this project on pro bono as well as James Harbridge, a lawyer based in Dubai with 25 years dispute resolution experience.
James had contacted me through the website at the end of August asking to help, and for me he has been the real breakthrough. Hundreds of emails, WhatsApps and Zoom calls later we find ourselves able to tell people why Christine, both morally and legally, should not have gone to prison in 1963. I am so incredibly grateful to them both.
I cannot forget Desmond Banks, Christine’s friend and solicitor who has helped and guided me through this whole story. Desmond has been a great mentor to me since Christine passed away and has even taken on the burden of spell checking each of these blogs before they are posted, not an easy job.
It’s been a strange week and I have been talking to the press about what we are doing. I can’t lie - I was upset that The Times article referred to Lucky Gordon as an ‘ex-boyfriend’. Christine would have been incandescent with rage: “He was never a boyfriend,” she would say.
I don’t know where that started, the first reference to Christine and Gordon being in a relationship. I have been doing lots of research and I think it may have come from an interview Lucky Gordon gave to the Jamaican Observer (1989) where he claimed to be Christine’s boyfriend. That is the first time I see it mentioned and I don't need to tell anyone reading this that he wouldn't be the first stalker or rapist to say they were in a relationship with their victim.
I have so many questions for Chris that she can’t answer anymore.
This week Peter Sutcliffe, The Yorkshire Ripper, died and an old memory came back to me. We were living on The Worlds End Estate in London and I was still very young. One day coming back from school there were two men in suits who introduced themselves as police officers, for me it was all very exciting but sadly they left almost immediately after I arrived. I can’t remember if Christine was angry or upset but she definitely hadn’t liked the conversation she had with the police.
It was little later that day, when a friend of hers came round, and she was talking about how the police had seen her and warned her that she may be a target because this serial killer was killing prostitutes.
I was young and can’t quite remember all of the details about that day, Christine and I talked about it because I think I was a bit worried. The police still hadn’t caught him and it was on the television all the time. I do remember that she did say the police thought she would be a ‘trophy’ for this killer because of who she was.
Of course I was young and my memory isn’t clear and the police may not have been there because of the Yorkshire Ripper - it could have been some other threat who thought Christine would be a ‘trophy’.
I would love to ask her, along with a hundred other questions too, but most of all I would love to ask her if she wants a cup of tea and a chat.
If you would like to help I would be delighted to hear from you. Now I have to get the word out and drum up the publicity we need for Chris.
Don’t worry this is not about the American elections!
In 1989 I was about seventeen and I had a Saturday job working in an electronics shop on Tottenham Court Road. I got the job because two friends were already working there on a Saturday and they managed to get me in too. We would earn £20 for the day but as I was new I was started behind a counter where they sold a small selection of videos. While my friends were on the shop floor helping customers buy TV’s, microwaves or any other electrical gizmos and chatting during downs times, I was mostly bored and stuck behind the video counter with Taz.
Taz ran the video counter and some of the customers that came in only Taz was allowed to serve, that was one of the rules. There was also a box under the counter that I wasn’t allowed to look in, that was another rule. Taz was a bit over weight, unkempt and smelled a bit of spilt milk, so I didn't even want to look in any boxes he had under his counter.
My job was to clean, go get Taz’s lunch, clean again and deal with customers that Taz wasn’t interested in and then do some more cleaning. Amazing to think that back In 1989 a new release movie was really expensive, up to £50 or £60 which was a lot of money back then. Taz was making good money in his little department not to mention whatever went on from the box under the counter.
Then the film Scandal hit the cinemas and Taz immediately took a very different interest in me. The next Saturday came around and shortly after our shift had started my friends came over saying there was a big problem. The manager of the whole shop and Taz had pulled them aside because they had a problem with me! The Saturday before some Videos had gone missing, it added up to a lot of money maybe even a few hundred pounds, and they had seen me take them!
I was in shock, I didn't take any video’s...We didn’t even have a video player!
Then Taz was over “The manager is going to call the police”.
I was now in a panic.
“We might have a way out” Taz said with a long pause before he went on “Your Mum’s film... if you get us ten copies, we won’t call the police and you can even keep your job”
I tried to explain, I couldn’t get copies of the film, but Taz said “you need to speak to your mum then or we get the police involved, make her understand”
I hurried home and told Chris about my imminent arrest. At first she laughed but quickly became furious. She felt this was her all her fault “Don’t go back there, let them call the police...do they owe you wages?”
Suddenly Chris had me under firm orders to go back to get my days wages, and not forget to tell them “My mum says, How #¢$$#$#$#$ dare they try this ££#$##£## on my boy”
I asked Chris if she would come with me but she made herself more comfortable on the couch with a “No, you go”
I returned to ask for my days pay, but there were more threats of the police and lots of shouting. Taz was angry and I was fired, and everyone who worked there had never been so insulted by this family!. So I left without the days pay and never went back. When I got home Chris asked how it all went and I lied and said they paid me. I didn’t want her to know I had failed or to feel bad about it anymore.
There has sometimes been a price to being Christine Keeler son. An ex girlfriend who told me how disgusting she thought my mother was for selling ‘sex stories’ (I think what upset me the most was she felt it was acceptable to even tell me) Or after a particular wave of press interest in Christine I had a company director who just stopped talking to me for three months. I found it so difficult to do the job that I had to hand in my notice.
Recently there was a article in the Mail about my fight to clear Christine’s name, I made the mistake of reading the comments section, and that was all a bit painful. Of course being Christine’s son has had some wonderful advantages too: I have met interesting people, had some great adventures because of it and of course I had my mothers love.