Sending Christine Keeler to prison was a National disgrace

Published: 13th December 2023

By Dr Felicity Gerry KC

I am delighted to see our campaign for the posthumous exoneration of Christine Keeler being covered for 4 days in The Mirror.

The campaign is being brought by her son Seymour Platt who was left the task of telling her real story in her will. At the height of the “Profumo Scandal” Christine was the victim of a violent assault by a man called Lucky Gordon. He was prosecuted but sacked his lawyers and represented himself. In cross examination of her, he admitted assaulting her. She told the police she had not mentioned two other witnesses because they asked her not to. On the suggestion that she had lied about about who was present, Gordon’s conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal (the court unusually expressing their belief that Christine was telling the truth). Nonetheless she was prosecuted for perjury and PCJ. She pleaded guilty and was sent to prison.

She was under terrible pressure. For example, news reports account members of the public throwing eggs at her outside the Old Bailey in Stephen Ward’s trial where she was also wrongly accused of being a sex worker. Ward took his life before verdicts on whether it could be shown he was not living on her “immoral” earnings. These events framed Christine Keeler appallingly for the rest of her life, as Seymour Platt has explained in the Mirror. The law on the charges Christine faced (despite being a victim) only applies if there is a “material lie”. That Christine did not state that two other men were present when she was violently assaulted was totally irrelevant, especially as a proper investigation would have revealed they saw the attack and because her attacker admitted in court he assaulted her The Criminal Cases Review Commission is now quite properly investigating the case.

The implications of the comments her silk Jeremy Hutchinson QC made at the time made it obvious she pleaded guilty when she was not, and she was shamed, unlike others whose reputation has been restored. There is a real risk that she was wrongly convicted. Sending her to prison was dreadful and she rightly deserves a posthumous exoneration. It would also go a long way to reframing a case that is the epitome of slut shaming, fitting with modern CPS guidance on violence against women and girls