(1) Christine Keeler, The Truth at Last (2001)
I thought Mandy Rice-Davies was a true tart. There was always shock on her face whenever she thought she might have to do more than lie on her back to make a living. Or swing from chandeliers. In the years since we first met I feel she has misrepresented events and put me down. She must have liked my style though - for she impersonated it in her fantasies, taking over my life.
Mandy handed out quotes as readily as her sexual services. I hope the sex was better value. However unwittingly, she contributed through her silly stories to the official cover-up of the political upheaval of the early Sixties. Yes she was young and heedless but, still, she caused serious trouble to me and others by her antics.
She had just turned sixteen when I first met her in September 1960. She had lost her virginity and any illusions a year earlier. Her heavy make-up added a few years but she was bubbly. There was that fun about her - she was the other side of the coin from Sherry who was no free spirit.
Policeman's daughter Marilyn Rice-Davies from Solihull, Birmingham, was, as Mandy Rice-Davies, up for anything. Sex or larks and a laugh. She called herself a model but that was more in hope than in her c.v. Everything about her said `I Want to Marry a Millionaire'; she might as well have carried a placard.
(2) Philip Knightley, An Affair of State (1987)
Mandy, as she preferred to be called, was the daughter of a failed actress from Wales and a Welsh-born Birmingham policeman. She was a rebel at school, but enjoyed games and art, and sang in the choir in the local Anglican church. Her main interest was horses and she managed to buy and keep a pony of her own by doing a paper delivery round, helping in a racing stable and, later, working on Saturday mornings in a Birmingham dress shop.
She left school at 15, found a job in a department store, and bullied her way into helping organise the store's fashion show, which was arranged to coincide with the local preview of a British film Make Mine Mink. Her hair backcombed and lacquered into a towering bouffant extravaganza, Mandy posed with the stars of the film, Terry Thomas and Hattie Jacques, for the Birmingham Post photographer. Then the company limousine drove her home. This was heady stuff for a Birmingham teenager and soon afterwards when a man stopped her in the street and offered her a job modelling at the Earls Court motor show, she accepted with alacrity.
The Mini was the most photographed car that year and many of the photographs show a cheeky, open-faced young girl with bobbed hair, thick black eyebrows, a turned-up nose and an appealing smile. Mandy was also photographed at receptions, cocktail parties, dinners, and on the way to lunch with the Mini's brilliant designer, Alex Issigonis. She returned to Birmingham with £80 in her purse and her mind made up: she was going to live in London. When her parents objected, she packed her luggage in secret, waited until they were out, and left for the station.
Two hours later Mandy opened the pages of the London Evening Standard and ran her finger down the `situations vacant' column. One advertisement seemed to stand out: "Murray's Club requires dancers." She auditioned that same afternoon, forged a letter of consent from her parents, and started work the next night.
Mandy was at Murray's for several weeks before she met Christine. The dancers were considered a professional cut above the showgirls and had separate dressing rooms so it was possible for two girls to work at Murray's and seldom meet. In the end another girl formally introduced them. It was not a happy meeting. Christine made a few uncomplimentary remarks about Mandy's excessive use of green eye shadow...
The two girls quickly became firm friends. Christine often stayed the night at Mandy's flat. She enjoyed cooking late breakfasts and amusing Mandy with stories about her love affairs. Mandy, for her part, made fruitless efforts to sort out Christine's finances. It is difficult at this distance to decide who was the leading character. Mandy implies that Christine's life was chaotic and she needed Mandy to organise it. Christine says that Mandy was an over-confident 16-year-old and that she took her in hand and was always the boss.
(3) Mandy Rice-Davies, The Mandy Report (1964)
In early 1962 I received an offer to make a television commercial in the States. The producer had come to England to find a girl with a British accent, typically British-looking. He was very impressed with me and the fact that I looked very much like Vivien Leigh, oddly enough. I was blonde but they planned to do me with dark hair. They did test shots of me and after make up you could not tell who was me and who was Vivien Leigh. It is not apparent in the flesh, but very striking in photographs, for we have similar bone structure and mouth; and, photographed from a certain angle, the bump in my nose is disguised.
(3) Mandy Rice-Davies, The Mandy Report (1964)
Rachman was dead but I had not heard the last of his name. Attempting to leave London Airport on April 23 (1963) I was arrested whilst passing through Passport Control and taken by police car back to town. Then I was charged with driving under a forged licence, whilst uninsured, and making false statements to obtain insurance. This was all to do with the Jaguar and the phoney licence that Peter had provided for my birthday.
That night I slept on a hard straw mattress in a prison cell at Holloway. The next morning I appeared in a magistrate's court where police opposed bail on the grounds that I might try to leave the country. It was a fantastic situation and quite impossible to understand. You would have thought I had stolen the Crown jewels or something like-or stopped a mail train in Buckinghamshire. My solicitor objected to the police statement and finally bail was set at £2,000. But when friends came up with the money the real significance of the case came to light.
A detective told me: "You'd be well advised not to accept bail. As soon as you're released we're going to arrest you on another charge. In fact we've got two warrants for your arrest. One of them is a bench warrant for parking in a wrong street and not turning up at court. If we re-arrest you, it'll mean finding another £2,000 bail. Take my advice and stay inside for another week. It'll cause you less trouble in the long run".
On two previous occasions the police had been to see me about making a statement on my relations with Stephen Ward. Each time I had refused. Clearly these proceedings were related to my refusal to co-operate and this was why I had to be kept behind bars. Well, back to jail I went. Holloway Prison must be one of the last places that God ever made on this earth. The conditions I thought were absolutely vile. ' I was turned out of my bunk every morning at 6 a.m. and locked up for bed again at g p.m. Compared with what I had been accustomed to, the food was like pigswill and tasted every bit as vile as it looked...
After a day or two of this I was ready to do anything to get out. I am sure that this was the way the police had planned it. They came to see me and asked if I would like to reconsider my refusal to make a statement about Dr Ward. The prospect of perhaps having to spend a further spell in Holloway over the motoring offence was enough to convince me that I had better keep on the right side of the police. I felt like a cornered animal. I told them all they wanted to know . . . and slowly the noose began tightening round Stephen's neck.
When my case went into court I was let off with a £42 fine and a warning. I left at once for Majorca....
At the airport (on her return from Majorca) I was met by two detectives from the Yard.
"Oh no", I said. "Not again". They wanted to grill me further about Stephen's life but I told them that everything I had to say had been said when I was in Holloway. Their faces looked ' a little strained at this news and I had the feeling that we would meet again...
A few days later I was again called in by the police and interviewed for four-and-a-half hours, going all over the same ground again. I was getting pretty sick of this and decided that Majorca was the place to be. Things were moving very quickly.
On June 4, Jack Profumo resigned as War Minister and as an M.P. Three days later, Stephen Ward was arrested and charged with living on immoral earnings. And on the 16th, again on my way to Majorca, I was stopped and arrested for the second time whilst passing through London Airport. Again .the police were about to pull a fast one on me.
I was driven to Marylebone police station and charged with the larceny of a TV set. The police asked me to enter in recognisances of £1,000. The condition of this was that I was to appear at Marylebone Court. By "coincidence" it turned out that I was to appear on the same day as the start of the hearing against Ward! (The television set I was supposed to have stolen was removed from Peter's flat at Bryanston Mews after his death. They claimed that I had taken it. This was completely and utterly untrue and, in fact, nothing ever came of this charge. But it had enabled the police to take away my passport until after the Ward hearing.)
The preliminary hearing of Stephen's case opened on June 28. Frankly, I thought the whole business was a farce. No one would deny that Stephen was a depraved and immoral man. But to suggest that he made a living out of it is nonsense.
Much was made of the fact that I was paying him a few pounds a week whilst I was living in Wimpole Mews. But I said before and say it again - Stephen never did anything for nothing and we agreed on the rent the day I arrived. He most certainly never influenced me to sleep with anyone, nor ever asked me to do so.
(4) Mandy Rice-Davies, Mandy (1980)
The door was opened by Stephen (Ward) - naked except for his socks... All the men were naked, the women naked except for wisps of clothing like suspender belts and stockings. I recognised our host and hostess, Mariella Novotny and her husband Horace Dibbins, and unfortunately I recognised too a fair number of other faces as belonging to people so famous you could not fail to recognise them: a Harley Street gynaecologist, several politicians, including a Cabinet minister of the day, now dead, who, Stephen told us with great glee, had served dinner of roast peacock wearing nothing but a mask and a bow tie instead of a fig leaf.
(5) Philip Knightley, An Affair of State (1987)
"It was dislike at first sight," Rice-Davies recalls, and "Keeler felt the same. Nevertheless, partly because Rice-Davies got on well with Arabs, and they both ended up at the same parties, the two became companions. They functioned well together in company - partly, Keeler thought, I because Rice-Davies had a good head for money, while she II was vague about it.
The partnership also worked well in the bedroom. Though there were no lesbian overtones, the two girls took , part in "threesome" sex scenes with men. Keeler says this became something of a speciality, that it excited the men so much that they forgot any desire they might have had for a two-woman show. She says neither of the girls was a bit bothered by group sex - it was amusing, and it brought in money for clothes and partying. Rice-Davies confirms that the threesomes took place.
Unlike Christine Keeler, who looked better in photographs than in life, Rice-Davies was to survive the 1963 scandal still looking "fresh as a milkmaid". She had "a hard cat-like face," said one observer, "but a very pretty one."
In her two months at Murray's, Rice-Davies found many wealthy admirers but - at that stage - not much sex. She started with Azis, a friend of Keeler's Ahmed, and then discovered Walter Flack, a partner of property magnate Charles Clore. Clore was to have sex with Keeler for money. Flack, on the other hand, wined and dined Rice-Davies but never propositioned her.
Eric, Earl of Dudley, seemed a good bet. He showered Rice-Davies with flowers, sent a case of pink champagne and took her out in his ancient Jaguar. He told Rice-Davies how to address the Queen should they meet, and actually took her to dinner with the woman who missed being Queen, the Duchess of Windsor. Lord Dudley at one point proposed to Rice-Davies, but then he quarrelled with her over Aziz and went off to marry Princess Grace Radziwill.
(6) FBI document (July, 1963)
Reference is made to my letter of June 24, 1963, which you returned to the Assistant Director C. A. Evans on July 2, 1963. At the time you inquired if we had learned what Christine (Keeler) and her friend did in the U.S. when they were here...
It has been learned that Christine Keeler and Marilyn Rice-Davies arrived in the U.S. aboard the SS Niew Amsterdam on July 11, 1962. They registered at the Hotel Bedford, 118 East 42nd Street, New York City, July 11, 1962, and re-registered on July 16, 1962. Hotel records do not show a date of departure; however, they did leave the U.S. on July 18, 1962, by British Overseas Airways Corporation plane.
(7) Time Magazine (1st May, 1989)
Britain's Minister of War John Profumo, husband of refined movie star Valerie Hobson, has been sharing the sexual favors of teen tart Christine Keeler with Soviet spy Eugene Ivanov . . . Keeler's blond pal Mandy Rice-Davies, 18, declared in court that she had bedded Lord Astor and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. . . . Mariella Novotny, who claims John F. Kennedy among her lovers, hosted an all-star orgy where a naked gent, thought to be film director and Prime Minister's son Anthony Asquith, implored guests to beat him . . . Osteopath and artist Stephen Ward, whose portrait subjects include eight members of the Royal Family, has been charged with pimping Keeler and Rice-Davies to his posh friends. Part of Ward's bail was reportedly posted by young financier Claus von Bulow.
(8) Philip Knightley, An Affair of State (1987)
Christine knew nothing of "cheque book journalism", but she had friends who did: Paul Mann, the racing driver/journalist and Nina Gadd, a freelance writer. Together they convinced her that, if she listened to them, she could make a small fortune. They reminded her that she was constantly broke and that Lucky Gordon was still making her life miserable. They told her they had been in touch with certain newspapers in Fleet Street which were prepared to offer her a great deal of money. This was true. Several newspapers were interested in Christine Keeler, especially when her appearance at the committal hearings of the Edgecombe shooting case at Marlborough Street Court reminded editors of the rumour floating around Fleet Street about her: that she was having an affair with Profumo.
There were problems, of course. The first was the English contempt law. No newspapers could publish anything about Christine's relationship with Edgecombe until his trial was over because the details of it were central to the charge. Next, there were the libel laws. If Christine's memoirs named other lovers, unless there was solid proof that what she said was true, they might sue for defamation. On the other hand most of the news at that time was bad, and a light sexy story of an English suburban girl who could arouse such passions - "I love the girl," Edgecombe had said, "I was sick in the stomach over her" - would certainly appeal to the readers of the Sunday sensational press.
Nina Gadd knew a reporter on the Sunday Pictorial, so on 22 January, with Mandy along to steady her resolve, Christine walked into the newspaper office carrying Profumo's farewell letter in her handbag. The newspaper's executives heard her out, looked at the letter, photographed it and offered her £1,000 for the right to publish it. Christine said she would think it over. She left the offices of the Sunday Pictorial and went straight to those of the News of the World, off Fleet Street. There she saw the paper's crime reporter, Peter Earle. Earle was desperate to have the story - for reasons that will emerge - but Christine made the mistake of telling him that his offer would have to be better than £1,000 because she had been offered that by another newspaper. Earle, who had had long experience of cheque book journalism, told Christine bluntly that she could go to the devil; he was not joining any auction.
So Christine went back to the Sunday Pictorial, accepted its offer and was paid £200 in advance. Over the next two days she told her entire life story to two Sunday Pictorial reporters. They soon saw that the nub of any newspaper article was her relationship with Profumo and Ivanov. It is easy to imagine how the story emerged. Christine was being paid £1,000 for her memoirs. The second slice, £800, was due only on publication. If the story did not reach the newspaper's expectations, Christine would not get it. She was anxious therefore to please the Sunday Pictorial reporters and dredged her memory for items that interested them. The trend of their questions would soon have indicated what items these were.
(9) Mandy Rice-Davies, Mandy (1980)
The trial lasted over a week. On Tuesday of the second week, 30th July, the judge began his summing up. We knew there was no hope. Much was made of the fact that in his hour of need none of Stephen's good friends came forward as a character witness. They didn't because Stephen asked them not to. He was embarrassed at involving them needlessly, he believed. When the investigations began he couldn't believe they would lead anywhere, and he insisted his friends stay out of it. Bill Astor certainly volunteered, and probably others did, too. By the time he knew he needed help, the fat was in the fire. My father always said he regretted not coming forward. That would have made news - father appearing for the defence, his daughter for the prosecution.
That evening Stephen went back to the flat in Chelsea where he was a guest during the trial. He wrote several letters - including one to Vickie Barrett - to be delivered "only if I am convicted and sent to prison". He cooked a meal for himself and his girlfriend, Julie Gulliver, then drove her home. He drove around for a while, possibly thinking things over, then, his mind made up, went back to the flat. He wrote another letter, to his friend and host Noel Howard Jones, and swallowed an overdose of nembutal.
(10) Mandy Rice-Davies, statement sent to John Simkin (23rd March, 2009)
Regina v Ward was undoubtedly one of the most vindictively rigged trials of the 20th Century. The Macmillan government, plagued throughout their office by spy cases, were eager to shift the security aspects of the Profumo business out of the spotlight. Aristocratic by nature and clinging to the old values of a swiftly vanishing past, they cast about for lessor, more expendable mortals on who to pin the blame.
The establishment aimed their arrows at Stephen Ward and a couple of teenage girls who were doing nothing more than chasing a good time. The police with Machiavellian cunning threw in a couple of known prostitutes to muddy the waters.
Three days after Profumo confessed and resigned, Stephen Ward was arrested and a case that barely had legs to stand on was dragged kicking and screaming into court.
Ward may have been a man with lax moral standards and uncertain principles, but other than a few muddled insinuations from the priggish prosecution no evidence was produced to show that Stephen Ward was a pimp. There is no doubt that had Ward not committed suicide, the case would have been dismissed on appeal.
In regard to myself, the worst I could be accused of is bad judgment and a healthy libido. I was only eighteen years old when the storm broke and after getting on with the rest of my life 1963 still casts a shadow. However a scandal is a scandal whatever the outcome and there will always be those who for personal gain or simple spite will try to distort the truth.