Christine Keeler, Ex-Model And Center Of One Of UK’s Biggest Scandals Known As The Profumo Affair, Dies At 75

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Christine Keeler, one of the most iconic personalities of the 20th century, has died. She was 75.

The former English model and showgirl who was blamed for the downfall of the Macmillan government due to the infamous Profumo affair passed away on Dec. 4. Her son, Seymour Platt, told The Guardian that his mother died at the Princess Royal University Hospital in Farnborough.

“My mother passed away last night at about 11:30 p.m.,” he said on Tuesday. The 46-year-old Platt said that his mother, Christine Keeler, lived an eventful life that sealed her place in history, however it came with “huge personal price.”

As mentioned in her obituary that was posted on The Washington Post, the 1960s most recognizable figure succumbed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Seymour Platt made the announcement of her passing on his Facebook page.

Christine Keeler shook the U.K. when her sexual relations with top government officials and diplomats were exposed. Her story began during the Cold War when she was introduced and became sexually involved with John Profumo, a married war minister in the 60s.

Profumo and Keeler had an affair for several months and the whole time, the ex-model was also seeing other men including Yevgeny Ivanov, the naval attaché at the Soviet Embassy in London and was also widely believed to be engaged in espionage.

When an inquiry regarding his relationship with Christine Keeler was launched, Profumo, who was then married to film actress Valerie Hobson, denied the liaison. However, he was forced to admit that he lied when in 1962, Johnny Edgecombe, another one of Keeler’s lovers, opened fire in front of Stephen Ward’s home where the showgirl was staying at the time.

The shooting incident caught the attention of the media and Christine Keeler was investigated. The investigation revealed the list of her lovers and the press decided that her affairs pose a big threat to national security.

The secret of Christine Keeler’s numerous flings came to light and the whole thing subsequently discredited the Conservative government of Harold Macmillan and it ended the political career of John Profumo in 1963. Since then the Profumo affair scandal became known worldwide and the story stayed popular up to this day.

Christine Keeler was born on Feb. 22, 1942, in Uxbridge, Middlesex and she was raised by her mother and stepfather in an abandoned railroad car in Berkshire, England. She got married twice but both marriages failed and it left her with two sons, James and Seymour, from her first and second marriage.