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.