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on 29 March 2014
In any era, a story of a 19 year old girl having a sexual relationship with a British Minister of War at the same time as a suspected Russian spy is going to make front page headlines around the world. However, this was the early 1960’s just prior to the 60’s revolution. Those were the days when most British believed the ruling classes were in monogamous marital relationships and good girls remained a virgin until they married. So when the story broke about the relationship between Christine Keeler and Jack Profumo, the public also found out that the upper classes were not so squeaky clean as they were led to believe. This scandal blew the lid off of the reputation of the ruling classes and brought down the government of the time. Stories of orgies attended by high court judges and members of parliament were becoming commonplace as the various Court cases and public enquiry relating to the story was reported in the newspapers. Then throw into the mix a couple of beautiful teenage girls (Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davis) who also had associations with gangsters and racketeers and heaven forbid, sexual relations with black men, you had the full attention of a British public who didn’t know whether to be outraged or titillated by it. Nevertheless, because of the era, the above events turned into one of the biggest scandals of the twentieth century and is still being talked about today. There is even a musical in the West End about Stephen Ward one of the central players in the scandal who committed suicide after being found guilty of living off of immoral earnings.
This book is Christine Keeler’s version of events: written with Douglas Thompson. First published in 2002 and updated in 2014. It is generally recognized today that Stephen Ward should not have been convicted of living off immoral earnings. However, Christine Keeler states in the book that Stephen Ward was spying for the Russians. This is not a view expressed by all the players in the scandal, but what is clear, is that the sex angel got more publicity than the issues of national security when the story originally broke.
While reading the book I found myself alternating between having sympathy for Christine Keeler for being a young teenager totally out of her depth while caught up in one of the biggest scandals of all time, to being frustrated with her for continuing to make the same mistakes over and over again, even as she got older, particularly with regard to her relationships while continuing to blame external factor. On one level she could be seen as a victim of circumstances, but she also made her own lifestyle choices. This book is interesting and worth reading, but the book is just one view of the situation and I found myself cross referencing certain events on the internet to try to gain a broader perspective of what really happened.
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on 1 April 2013
Christine Keeler lit the fuse that sparked the sixties. Along with the Beatles and David Bailey she was at the vanguard of the movement that, superficially at least, wiped away the old order.

To a certain extent the Profumo affair has perhaps been coloured by the film Scandal and that's the version I at least knew of. This book gives you the story from the inside and it's a real eye opener. It seems clear that Ward had some sort of connection with spies, whether he was a spy himself or a double agent isn't clear but evidently something was going off and CK was unwittingly sucked into that orbit.

The book is very well written. CK has a great turn of phrase and is able to despatch individuals with one cutting line - Astor and john Hurt are memorably summed up. She also brings to the fore that swinging world of the elite; where the rest of the populace were labouring away in a black and white world with barely enough to get by on, others were living the life of Riley. Check out the tales on the Duke of Edinburgh. There'll be some skellingtons rattling out of that closet when he throws off the mortal coil...

There are some lovely pictures in support of the text, shots of the protagonists during that halcyon summer before the whole shebang came crashing around their collective ears.

The book does raise a few questions, not least in relation to the kidnapping of CK for three days when she was held with a girlfriend who subsequently escaped. We're not told who the girlfriend was - presumably not Mandy? And what of Mandy, the other half of that infamous double act? CK makes clear her dislike for her one time flat mate and it's true that Mandy has made the most of her infamy, going on to own night clubs in Israel and write several books. In fact, you can go into WH Smiths and buy a birthday card with Mandy on the front, swigging champagne from the bottle.

When the scuffers and the Fleet Street muck rakers arrived with their flash bulbs, the toffs took off back to their wives and their country piles leaving Ward and Keeler to face the music. Ward probably thought of himself as a key player in the Astor - Profumo inner circle and so maybe expected some immunity but when his presence didn't suit he was cut adrift by his so called friends. The resultant trial was a witch hunt to cover the backs of the real miscreants - it speaks volumes about the British judiciary that neither Astor nor Profumo were called to court.

CK says that the police produced stooge witnesses to frame Ward. Mandy RD in a BBC Four radio programme went further by saying that our nations finest threatened and coerced young women into giving evidence, one allegedly being threatened with losing her child if she didn't comply. Whether Ward was a spy or merely a fantasist, he didn't deserve that. Refreshing though to see that a bent and corrupt Police force isn't a 21st Century phenomena but is in fact been something we've had as a way of life for some years now.

Profumo was eventually rehabilitated by Margaret Thatcher with the comment, and I paraphrase here, let's forget all that Keeler business. No, let's not Margaret. Let's remember it for what it showed of the soft white underbelly of those who govern without having any knowledge of, or compassion for, the majority of the populace. You'd have thought we'd have learned from all of this but in 2013, some 50 years after the event, the three most powerful posts in the UK - Prime Minister, Chancellor, Mayor of London - are all held be men from the Bullingdon Club. It's a travesty.
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on 28 March 2014
In any era, a story of a 19 year old girl having a sexual relationship with a British Minister of War at the same time as a suspected Russian spy is going to make front page headlines around the world. However, this was the early 1960's just prior to the 60's revolution. Those were the days when most British believed the ruling classes were in monogamous marital relationships and good girls remained a virgin until they married. So when the story broke about the relationship between Christine Keeler and Jack Profumo, the public also found out that the upper classes were not so squeaky clean as they were led to believe. This scandal blew the lid off of the reputation of the ruling classes and brought down the government of the time. Stories of orgies attended by high court judges and members of parliament were becoming commonplace as the various Court cases and public enquiry relating to the story was reported in the newspapers. Then throw into the mix a couple of beautiful teenage girls (Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davis) who also had associations with gangsters and racketeers and heaven forbid, sexual relations with black men, you had the full attention of a British public who didn't know whether to be outraged or titillated by it. Nevertheless, because of the era the above events turned into one of the biggest scandals of the twentieth century and is still being talked about today. There is even a musical in the West End about Stephen Ward one of the central players in the scandal who committed suicide after being found guilty of living off of immoral earnings.
This book is Christine Keeler's version of events: written with Douglas Thompson. First published in 2002 and updated in 2014. It is generally recognized today that Stephen Ward should not have been convicted of living off immoral earnings. However, Christine Keeler states in the book that Stephen Ward was spying for the Russians. This is not a view expressed by all the players in the scandal, but what is clear, is that the sex angel got more publicity than the issues of national security when the story originally broke.
While reading the book I found myself alternating between having sympathy for Christine Keeler for being a young teenager totally out of her depth while caught up in one of the biggest scandals of all time, to being frustrated with her for continuing to make the same mistakes over and over again, even as she got older, particularly with regard to her relationships while continuing to blame external factor. On one level she could be seen as a victim of circumstances, but she also made her own lifestyle choices. This book is interesting and worth reading, but the book is just one view of the situation and I found myself cross referencing certain events on the internet to try to gain a broader perspective of what really happened.
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on 13 February 2013
Well, I'm not quite sure how to describe this book really - I loved it, but on the other hand it seemed bitty and the stories 'all over the place'. At times I couldn't keep up with what was going on and to this day I still can't quite grasp the Scandal story. However, it was a pleasure to read and extremely interesting.
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on 17 March 2012
Secrets and Lies, the new memoir by Christine Keeler and co-writer Douglas Thompson, is essentially a reissue of her 2001 book, Christine Keeler: The Truth at Last. Apart from a new preface and postscript, and some different photos, the content is mostly the same as before.

John Profumo - the government minister with whom Keeler had an affair as a teenager - died in 2006. Next year will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the political scandal, and its reverberations on British society can still be felt today.

Writing for The Guardian recently, Roy Greenslade described Keeler as `the first kiss and tell'. It's a dubious claim to fame, and Keeler's own view is rather more ambivalent. `You are deluding yourself if you think you can build a career from scandal,' she reflects. `All that follows scandal is more scandal...'

While Profumo was eventually forgiven for his transgressions, Keeler has been alternately patronised and ridiculed - but her memories are still compelling, a cautionary tale for those who play with power.
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on 5 March 2014
I remember when all this happened and always thought Christine Keeler had a raw deal.
There's always a scape goat and she was it. She admits she slept with men to better her life style,
she didn't ask for political secrets to be discussed in front of her.
There are facts in this book about Stephen Ward and the injustice of his case also.
I enjoyed reading this book even though I'm not a political animal
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on 23 March 2013
Book has a sense of 'cashing in', it offers very little that is new. The bits about spying are particularly unconvincing!
Overall, a disappointing read.
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on 30 December 2014
Unless Christine Keeler kept extensive notes, diary, photographs or has a photographic memory( which I have my doubts about), it is difficult to separate fact from fiction. series of events which occurred over 50 years ago and she is able to recall them in such detail,I think the author is asking us to believe too much. A work of hedonistic proportions,it is the way she has lived her life. I don't like the fact that CK blames everyone else for her own sad life. She claims in the book she is intelligent by quoting her IQ as141, well why hasn't she used this intelligence in her life.This book does not give us a true insight into the affair that rocked the government of the time It is not a well written piece of work.. Dear CK please give credit and recognition to others whose lives that were also wrecked during your lust for the high life.
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on 10 July 2013
I felt that for Christine to remember all the very fussy detail of 50 years ago is stretching belief - there were so many characters in the middle of the book I had to keep referring back - OK but no gold star.
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on 11 January 2014
Having been around when the original story hit the newspapers, the details from one of the accused are different from what was written by the press and the storyline released by the then government
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