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Strip Freud of knighthood, urges woman who claims he raped her

By Jemma Crew

Published 16/06/2016

Sir Clement Freud with his wife Jill (left) and daughter Emma after receiving his knighthood
Sir Clement Freud with his wife Jill (left) and daughter Emma after receiving his knighthood

A third woman who claims Sir Clement Freud sexually abused her has called for his knighthood to be revoked.

Vicky Hayes (64) said the late Liberal politician should be stripped of the honour after she went public with allegations he raped her.

She 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 first met him when she was 14.

Ms Hayes, a lover of horses, added that when she was 17, he returned to take her to Newmarket Races, assuring her parents a housekeeper would be present. But on the overnight trip he allegedly plied her with champagne before taking her virginity.

She claimed: "I lay there naked, he got in and I lay there afraid, 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 continued, adding that his parting message to her was to call him if she was pregnant.

Ms Hayes said: "He should not be held up as a pillar of society - he is what I know him to be. He does not to deserve to keep his knighthood, I think he should be stripped of his knighthood."

She claimed she told Suffolk Police about the abuse in 2010.

A spokesman for the force said: "A historic allegation of rape occurring more than 40 years ago was made to Suffolk Police in 2014, against a man who was deceased.

"This was formally recorded, but as the suspect was no longer alive, there were no further lines of inquiry."

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

Sylvia Woosley, who first met Freud when she was 10 and later went to live with him when her mother's marriage broke down, claimed in an ITV Exposure documentary that Freud had molested her over several years. A second woman, who wants to remain anonymous, alleged that the Liberal politician also abused her as a child and raped her when she was 18.

Freud was married to Jill (89), for nearly 60 years. In a statement, his widow 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."

ITV said two of Freud's children had viewed the documentary before broadcast on their mother's behalf.

In the programme, Ms Woosley, who is now in her late 70s, said: "I just want to clear things up before I die... I want to die clean."

A celebrated food, sport and general commentary columnist, the politician also enjoyed a long career as a TV and radio personality.

From 1967-1969, he hosted live cookery shows in the Physics Hall during the Belfast Festival at Queen's.

During World War Two, Freud joined the Royal Ulster Rifles , served in the ranks and also acted as an aide to Field Marshal Montgomery.

His wife June Flewett, better known as Jill,was the inspiration for Lucy Pevensie in Belfast-born CS Lewis's children's books The Chronicles of Narnia.

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