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Profumo Resigns after “Impropriety” with 21-Year-Old Model

June 5, 1963 - In London today, John Profumo (top) resigned as Secretary of State for War after admitting that he had lied to Parliament in denying “impropriety” with a 21-year-old model. The 48-year-old minister made his confession in a letter of resignation to Prime Minister Macmillan, who said he had “no alternative but to advise the Queen to accept.” It was the high point of the biggest scandal in the 11 years of the Conservative Government, which is now preparing for a national election. Mr. Profumo’s relations with the red-haired model, Christine Keeler (bottom), became an affair of state last March when she disappeared on the eve of a trial at which she was to have been a prosecution witness. The trial was that of a former friend of Miss Keeler, a Jamaican movie extra named John Edgecombe, who was arrested after he fired a pistol shot through the door of her home. Despite the absence of Miss Keeler, he was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. The case became the talk of Britain after it was rumored that Miss Keeler had been spirited out of the country through high connections to avoid public testimony that might embarrass prominent persons.


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