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Profumo 'temptress' Mandy Rice Davis dies

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Mandy Rice-Davies in 1963

Mandy Rice-Davies in 1963

Mandy Rice-Davies who was a key figure in the Profumo Affair has died

Mandy Rice-Davies who was a key figure in the Profumo Affair has died

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Mandy Rice-Davies in 1963

Mandy Rice-Davies - one of the women at the centre of the Profumo affair which rocked Harold Macmillan's Tory government in the 1960s - has died aged 70.

Rice-Davies was a model and London nightclub dancer when her friend Christine Keeler had an affair with War Secretary John Profumo (inset).

The revelation that Keeler had slept with both Profumo and a Soviet naval attaché caused a media sensation and almost toppled the British government in 1963.

At a trial stemming from the scandal Rice-Davies dismissed a denial by aristocratic party host Lord Astor that they'd had an affair with a phrase that became famous: "Well, he would, wouldn't he?"

Through Miss Keeler, she met osteopath Dr Stephen Ward - known for his parties bringing together high society types and pretty girls - who was subsequently charged with living off the immoral earnings of the two women.

Dr Ward, seen by many as the scapegoat for the whole affair, committed suicide, taking a fatal overdose of pills at his Chelsea flat the night before the jury returned its verdict of guilty.

In the years that followed, Miss Rice-Davies continued to live the high life, dancing, acting, writing and marrying three times.

She later said she wished the events of 1963 had never happened.

"The only reason I still want to talk about it is that I have to fight the misconception that I was a prostitute," she said.

hnews@herald.ie


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