British model in 1960s Cold War sex scandal dies

19th December 2014, Comments 0 comments

Mandy Rice-Davies, a model implicated in the Profumo affair that scandalised 1960s Britain and almost brought down the government, has died of cancer at the age of 70, a spokesman said on Friday.

Allegations by Rice-Davies, who became known by her married name Marilyn Foreman, were part of a wave of lurid disclosures that threatened Harold Macmillan's Conservative administration in 1963.

"It is with deep sadness that the family of Marilyn Foreman, also known as Mandy Rice-Davies, have confirmed that she passed away yesterday evening," a spokesman for the Hackford Jones PR agency said.

The nightclub dancer was friends with the main figure in the scandal Christine Keeler, who was alleged to be sleeping with British Secretary of State for War John Profumo and a Russian defence attache.

Rice-Davies caused a sensation in the witness box during a court hearing when she dismissed a denial by another man implicated, Lord Astor, that he had slept with her, saying: "Well, he would, wouldn't he?"

Profumo, who later resigned in disgrace, was said to have been introduced to showgirl Keeler through osteopath Stephen Ward at a party at Lord Astor's mansion at Cliveden in Berkshire, now a luxury hotel.

Ward was charged with living off the "immoral earnings" of Keeler and Rice-Davies. It was at his trial that Rice-Davies made her famous remark.

Years later she said that there was a "misconception" that she had worked as a prostitute.

"I don't want that to be passed on to my grandchildren. There is still a stigma," she said.


© 2014 AFP

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