Christine Keeler (born in 1942, still living) was a London callgirl that in 1963 became the center of the Profumo affair.
The story was quite complex and it also involved another woman, Wendy Rice-Smith and various highly placed Britons, but the basic issue was this one: Christine Keeler was the lover of John Profumo, Secretary of War in Harold Macmillan's government.
At the same time, though, she was also sleeping with Eugene Ivanov, the Soviet military attache in London. This created an obvious security issue.
John Profumo was questioned in Parliament, and he gave a false answer, which eventually lead to his resignation two months later.
The Profumo affair created a major political stir, and definitely ruined the life of Christine Keeler; shortly afterwards, she was shot by her boyfriend, and even had to go to jail for perjury.
Recently, she has published an autobiography (The Truth at Last) where she attempts to lay down her version of the facts.
Christine Keeler has been photographed by Lewis Morley. The picture has Christine sitting backwards on an Arne Jacobson chair. The back of the chair covers her lower body, and her folded arms cover her chest. The elbows point frontwards, her face is slightly turned and she looks straight into the camera.
The picture (although at the time Lewis Morley did not make much of it) is a very striking portrait. It is a combination of coyness and brashness.
In the words of the photographer:
Christine came into my studio at the Establishment Club in Soho for a publicity shoot for a movie that never got made. The session was very quick. I took a couple of rolls of her in a little jerkin she was wearing. Then there was a bit of a tiswas because the movie producers wanted her to be photographed nude and she wasn't keen. So I got rid of everybody from the studio. I told her I would turn my back and she took all her clothes off. She later said she kept her knickers on. She didn't, but I won't argue with that.
She was quite coy. Not blatant at all. I said to her: 'Sit behind that chair and you'll still be fulfilling the nude bit in your contract.' It was a cheap copy of an Arne Jacobson chair from Heals' sale. I've still got it. I only took one roll of her on the chair. It all took 10 minutes at the most.