Belfast Telegraph

Patsy Kensit on dad's gangster past

Patsy Kensit has opened up about her childhood growing up with a gangster father.

The actress is about to release her autobiography Absolute Beginner, and revealed some of the stories it contains about her upbringing to the Daily Mirror.

She told how her late dad James worked for the Krays and the Richardsons, that Reggie Kray was her brother Jamie's godfather and that the whole family once had to go on the run to the Caribbean.

Patsy said: "We only ever got glimpses. His associates used to come over and go into the sitting room, where Dad would draw the curtains. Jamie and I would have to leave, but we could hear them doing the count-up from outside the door."

The Lethal Weapon 2 actress, whose dad was nicknamed Jimmy The Dip because of his pickpocketing, said much of his criminal behaviour was hidden from her.

She said: "Mum did everything she could to keep that side of things hidden from us. She must have loved my dad a great deal to turn a blind eye to his villainy."

Patsy's family were forced to go on the run to the Caribbean after corruption at Scotland Yard was exposed and her dad lost his contact in the police who he had been bribing with whole smoked salmon.

The family travelled on a cruise ship for three or four weeks and Patsy said: "Dad's associates organised it and he was masquerading as a top travel writer so we were at the captain's table every night, when in reality we may as well have been stowaways."

She added of her dad's life of crime: "I'm not condoning or glamorising what they got up to. I've been burgled three times, so I know how awful it is to be on the receiving end of criminal behaviour. But it's just how things were.

"My dad was released from prison when I was 14. Although I accepted he was a flawed man, I still loved him very much."

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