UK

Third woman alleges Clement Freud abuse

Clement Freud, pictured in 1973 Image copyright PA
Image caption Sir Clement Freud was a Liberal MP from 1973 to 1987 and was knighted in 1987

A third woman has come forward claiming she was sexually abused by the late Liberal MP Sir Clement Freud.

Vicky Hayes, 64, told ITV News that the politician, who died in 2009, had raped her in the mid-1960s when she was 17.

Her allegation follows accusations from two other women who say they were abused by Freud as children.

In response to those claims, Freud's widow Jill Freud, 89, said she was "deeply saddened and profoundly sorry for what has happened to these women".

'Afraid and scared'

Mrs Hayes told ITV News that Freud would frequently visit her father's Lincoln seafood restaurant, known as Syd's, in the mid-1960s, and that she had first met him when she was 14.

She said she was 17 when he took her on an overnight trip to the races and raped her.

She said: "I just lay there afraid, scared, and he forced himself on me and took my virginity."

Ms Hayes said she did not tell her parents, because her father would have "killed" Freud.

"You don't expect a friend of your parents to rape you," she said.

Ms Hayes also called for Freud to be stripped of his knighthood.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Sir Clement Freud with his wife Jill (left) and daughter Emma after receiving his knighthood in 1987

She reported the incident to Suffolk Police in 2010.

A spokesman for the force said it had received a historic allegation of rape dating back more than 40 years, but added: "This was formally recorded but as the suspect was no longer alive, there were no further lines of inquiry."

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Media captionSylvia Woosley: "I would like to just return to the child I was, before I was molested physically"

Ms Hayes is the third woman to come forward with allegations against Freud, with the earlier claims prompting his widow to apologise.

Sylvia Woosley, who first met Freud when she was 10 in the late 1940s and was sent to live with him at 14, told an ITV Exposure programme that he had abused her for years.

In the documentary, Exposure: Abused and Betrayed - A Life Sentence, broadcast on Wednesday, Ms Woosley, now in her late 70s, said: "I just want to clear things up before I die... I want to die clean.

"Having been so hard on myself, trying to destroy myself so many times, you can't bury the truth forever, it needs to be heard."

A second woman, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed Freud abused her as a child and raped her when she was 18 in 1978.


Who was Sir Clement Freud?

Born in Vienna in April 1924, Clement Freud was a grandson of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Another grandson was Clement's elder brother, the artist Lucian Freud.

His idiosyncratic pet food commercials with Henry the dog launched him on a long career as a television and radio personality.

As well as becoming a celebrity chef, he contributed to BBC Radio 4's Just A Minute for more than 30 years, and featured on shows including Have I Got News For You.

Freud was Liberal MP for North East Cambridgeshire from 1973 to 1987, and was knighted in 1987.

He had five children, including the TV personality, Emma, and the PR guru, Matthew.

Freud was friends with Gerry and Kate McCann - parents of three-year-old Madeleine, who disappeared in Praia la Luz, Portugal, in 2007.

In her book, Mrs McCann said she and her husband had been invited to lunch at Freud's nearby home several weeks after Madeleine's disappearance.

Freud died at his desk aged 84 in 2009.


In a statement released in response to the first two women's claims, Mrs Freud said: "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."

A statement from the Liberal Democrats called the allegations "horrific" and said the party was "deeply shocked and horrified by this news".

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