Global hit-maker Andrew Lloyd-Webber's new musical spotlights the world of Stephen Ward – the social cavalier who knew everyone who mattered – and his enigmatic role in the great political scandal of the 20th Century.
Yet, few truly knew the rakish charmer who was the catalytic character of The Profumo Affair.
A talented osteopath and artist, Stephen Ward treated, sketched and seduced the great and often not-so-good of the post-war years. He healed Churchill, Gandhi, Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor; he drew Princess Margaret, the Duke of Edinburgh, Harold Macmillan and, of course, Christine Keeler, whose striking likeness by him hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London. Everyone loved the superbly well-connected Stephen Ward.
But when Christine Keeler slept with two of his friends – British War Minister John Profumo and Soviet superspy Eugene Ivanov – President Kennedy's White House went haywire, suspicion and scandal cast a shroud over Dr Ward's world.
In the middle of a nuclear poker game, Stephen Ward soon had MI5 and MI6 snapping at his heels, along with the KGB, the CIA and the FBI at his shoulder. The spooks all feared what he might know – or do. The British Establishment, keen to see him gone, brushed him off.
The infamous persecution, torturous trial and death of Stephen Ward still shocks. Now, best-selling author Douglas Thompson has traced confidants of Stephen Ward, speaking for the first time in more than half a century; along with newly-discovered government documents, he has gathered their eyewitness accounts of Downing Street intrigue, sex orgies and dangerous liaisons. Posterity is ferociously capricious but there are still those alive who know the secrets and the true story of Stephen Ward, which is brilliantly told here in Scapegoat.
Number Of Pages: 300
Published: 16th December 2013
Edition Number: 1