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London — Keeler later said in a book that she and Ward - a society osteopath who effectively acted as a party organiser for the aristocracy - picked up the mystery woman at the bus stop near London airport.
“She seemed so nice that we invited her to the party at Stephen’s cottage,” she wrote.
That cottage was on the estate of Lord Astor’s stately home, Cliveden, where Profumo first cast eyes on the 19-year-old Keeler swimming naked in the pool and where Ivanov was also a party guest.
The portrait gallery’s assistant curator Clare Freestone, who found the new drawing while organising a display marking the 50th anniversary of the scandal, believes the woman’s story could be fascinating.
“If this is the girl on the reverse, she would have been witness to the first meeting between Keeler, Profumo and Ivanov,” she said in a statement.
Terence Pepper, the gallery’s curator of photographs, told Reuters: “There are often cases of someone who never said anything at the time but is prepared to talk later on.”
Keeler, now 71, has not commented on reports of the mystery woman.