The Trial of Christine Keeler takes us behind the headlines to tell a human story about the sexual and cultural politics of one of the most revealing and iconic stories of modern times. At the centre of the storm was 19-year-old Christine Keeler - a young woman whom the powerful, male-dominated establishment sought to silence and exploit, but who refused to play by their rules.

Type: Scripted

Languages: English

Status: In Development

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: None

The Trial of Christine Keeler - Christine Keeler - Netflix

Christine Margaret Keeler (22 February 1942 – 4 December 2017) was an English model and topless showgirl. Her meeting at a dance-club with society osteopath Stephen Ward drew her into fashionable circles. At the height of the Cold War, she became sexually involved with a married government minister, John Profumo, as well as a Soviet diplomat. A shooting incident between two of her other lovers caused the press to investigate her, revealing that her affairs could be threatening national security. In the House of Commons, Profumo denied any improper conduct but later admitted that he had lied. This incident discredited the Conservative government of Harold Macmillan in 1963 in what became known as the Profumo affair. Keeler was alleged to have been a prostitute and although this was not a criminal offence in itself, Ward was found guilty at trial of being her pimp – a trial only instigated after the embarrassment caused to the government.

The Trial of Christine Keeler - Morley portrait - Netflix

At the height of the Profumo affair in 1963, Keeler sat for a photographic portrait taken by Lewis Morley. The photo shoot, at a studio on the first floor of Peter Cook's Establishment Club, with Morley was to promote a proposed film, The Keeler Affair, that was never released in the United Kingdom. Keeler was reluctant to pose in the nude, but the film producers insisted. Morley persuaded Keeler to sit astride a plywood chair, so that whilst technically she would be nude, the back of the chair would obscure most of her body. Keeler told cartoon historian Tim Benson in 2007 that she was not nude and was, in fact, wearing “knickers” during the entire photoshoot. The photo propelled Arne Jacobsen's Model 3107 chair to prominence, even though the chair used was an imitation of the Model 3107, with a hand-hold aperture crudely cut out of the back to avoid copyright infringement. The chair used is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The differences in the designs of the chairs are readily apparent in a side-by-side photograph.

The Trial of Christine Keeler - References - Netflix