Entertainment

What was Dr Stephen Ward’s cause of death and when did he die? The tragedy behind The Trial of Christine Keeler

James Norton stars as Dr Stephen Ward in The Trials of Christine Keeler
(Picture: BBC/ Getty)
Dr Stephen Ward was London’s most peculiar enigma as his tragedy has been dug up for BBC One’s The Trial of Christine Keeler, with James Norton playing the promiscuous pimp. But how did the real Stephen Ward die and when?

In scenes yet to unfold in the six-part drama, Christine single-handedly brought down the British government by sleeping with both sides of the Cold War – War Secretary John Profumo and Soviet naval attaché Captain Yevgeny Mikhailovich Ivanov, sparking an international security inquiry.

Stephen was subsequently arrested after being charged with making a profit from immoral earnings – Christine’s immoral earnings to be precise.

What was Stephen Ward’s cause of death?
Stephen Ward took his own life in July 1963 (Picture: Getty)
Stephen was charged with making profit from immoral earnings (Picture: BBC)
Shortly before he was due to be sentenced in July 1963, Stephen took an ..

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How did Stephen Ward die
James Norton stars as Dr Stephen Ward in The Trials of Christine Keeler
(Picture: BBC/ Getty)

Dr Stephen Ward was London’s most peculiar enigma as his tragedy has been dug up for BBC One’s The Trial of Christine Keeler, with James Norton playing the promiscuous pimp. But how did the real Stephen Ward die and when?

In scenes yet to unfold in the six-part drama, Christine single-handedly brought down the British government by sleeping with both sides of the Cold War – War Secretary John Profumo and Soviet naval attaché Captain Yevgeny Mikhailovich Ivanov, sparking an international security inquiry.

Stephen was subsequently arrested after being charged with making a profit from immoral earnings – Christine’s immoral earnings to be precise.


What was Stephen Ward’s cause of death?

Society osteopath Stephen Ward (1912 - 1963), 1947. Ward committed suicide on the last day of his trial for living off the profits of prostitution, a case brought about by his involvement in the Profumo scandal. (Photo by Baron/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Stephen Ward took his own life in July 1963 (Picture: Getty)
James Norton as Stephen Ward
Stephen was charged with making profit from immoral earnings (Picture: BBC)

Shortly before he was due to be sentenced in July 1963, Stephen took an overdose of sleeping pills and died three days later at the age of 50.

James assured Metro.co.uk, The Trial of Christine Keeler will address the osteopath’s death ‘sensitively’.

‘They’ve done it very beautifully,’ he told us. ‘If I was a member of Stephen’s family, I’d be very pleased with how they’ve handled [his death]. It’s in no way gratuitous or sensationalist, it was just very honest and in his way – yes, he was an exhibitionist but he was also a very private man.’

While Stephen will never know his life was being told to millions on the BBC over 50 years after he died, Christine was informed The Trials of Christine Keeler had been given the green light shortly before she passed away in 2017 and she had one request.

‘Her attitude was one of resignation,’ admitted producer Rebecca Ferguson.

The Trial of Christine Keeler starts tonight at 9pm on BBC One.

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