Sir Clement Freud, the former broadcaster and liberal MP, has been exposed as a paedophile who abused two young girls for decades
Freud, who died in 2009, spent years abusing a girl who he brought up as a daughter. and violently raped a teenager while he was an MP.
Sylvia Woosley, who first met Freud when she was 10 and was sent to live with him at 14, said that he abused her for years.
The second woman, who wants to remain anonymous, claimed he abused her as a child and raped her when she was 18.
His widow, Lady Freud, apologised to his victims, saying she is “shocked, deeply saddened and profoundly sorry” for what her husband of 58 years did to them.
The Mail Online reports:
Sylvia Woolsey said she was just 11 when Sir Clement – described as a national treasure by Gordon Brown at his funeral in 2009 – began abusing her. She was later invited into his marital bed alongside his actress wife Jill.
Lady Freud, who is said to have had an affair with writer Will Self’s brother Jonathan when he was 16 and she was 47, issued an apology last night.
The second woman alleges Sir Clement groomed her from 11, abused her at 14 and violently raped her at 18. He was then a Liberal MP.
In other developments:
- A friend of Madeleine McCann’s parents, who were befriended by Sir Clement in Portugal, said they would be appalled;
- A child abuse charity revealed his name had been on its ‘radar’;
- It said it was braced for more women to come forward.
Sir Clement, a grandson of the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and brother of artist Lucian Freud, was known to millions as a chef, comedian, writer and journalist.
He was a regular on BBC shows such as Radio 4’s Just A Minute.
When he died aged 84 his funeral was attended by George Osborne and stars including Bono, Stephen Fry, Paul Merton, Nicholas Parsons and Richard Curtis, the partner of his daughter Emma, 54.
Sir Clement took dark secrets to the grave, according to an ITV Exposure documentary being broadcast tonight. It paints him as a vicious sex attacker, demolishing his image as a lovable wit and raconteur.
After viewing the programme in advance, his widow, who is 89, gave a statement saying: ‘This is a very sad day for me. I was married to Clement for 58 years and loved him dearly.
‘I am shocked, deeply saddened and profoundly sorry for what has happened to these women. I sincerely hope they will now have some peace.’
Miss Woolsey, who is in her late 70s, told the documentary she did not want to take the truth to her tomb. She added: ‘It is the child in me that is speaking – the child that wants to be freed. I would like to just return to the child I was before I was molested physically.’
She claims she met Sir Clement in the south of France, where she was living with her parents and he was the 24-year-old manager of a Cannes hotel. He took a liking to her, and persuaded her mother to let him take her to the beach and on a bus trip, where he molested her. Back in England in 1952, Miss Woolsey’s mother’s marriage fell apart and she sent her 14-year-old daughter to London to live with Freud in his marital home.
She described a disturbing morning when the couple asked her to join them in bed. When Lady Freud went off to make breakfast, she offered to go too but claims his wife replied: ‘No no no no no, you stay where you are, stay where you are with Clay [Clement], I’ll bring it.’
Miss Woolsey recalled: ‘And I knew what was going to happen. I was in my nightdress and he pulls it up and pulls me against him, touching me and kissing me.’
Sir Clement, who was becoming a minor celebrity, running a cabaret club in Sloane Square, would creep into Miss Woolsey’s bedroom to molest her when he returned home late, she said. She said she ran away at 16 and when Sir Clement found out he sent her a letter accusing her of wrongly construing ‘every sign of affection’ as having ‘an unhealthy sexual motive’.
His second alleged victim, who the programme gave the pseudonym Joanne, said she was 11 when her mother, allowed her to be groomed by him. In 1978, when Sir Clement was Liberal MP for the Isle of Ely and she was 18, she says he ‘brutally’ raped her.
Peter Saunders, chief executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, told the Mail that Sir Clement had ‘been on the radar’ of the charity.
He added: ‘About 12 years ago, before his death, something was said to me about an allegation of rape concerning him. I was given no name of the woman, but it was given to me with absolute sincerity. At the time, I never thought it would go anywhere because he was rich and powerful. Later I spoke to a friend at Rape Crisis, and she said his name had come up in her world too, a long time ago, but she couldn’t remember the details.’
Yesterday Sir Clement’s son Matthew, the public relations supremo formerly married to Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth, made no comment other than to dismiss a Madeleine connection
The Goddard Inquiry, which is examining claims of a Westminster paedophile ring, declined to say whether Sir Clement would form part of its investigations.
Other former MPs exposed as child abusers include fellow Liberal politician Cyril Smith.
However a Scotland Yard inquiry into allegations of an Establishment paedophile ring fell apart over discredited claims by a man named ‘Nick’ about high-profile figures including Lord Bramall and former MP Harvey Proctor.
Exposure: Abused & Betrayed – A Life Sentence will be broadcast on ITV at 11:05pm on Wednesday 15th June