ITV’s Exposure programme raised two alleged claims of paedophilia by Clement Freud. One of the women chose to remain anonymous. The other was named as Sylvia Woosley.
Shortly after that a further 3 claims emerged in the media. These were made by Vicky Hayes, Rosemary Rimmer-Clay, and Janet Rowlerson.
According to Exposure, Clement Freud met Sylvia Woosley at her family’s house in the south of France in 1948, when Sylvia was 10 and Freud was 24. Freud befriended the family and befriended Sylvia, buying her clothes and presents, and taking her on bus trips. The inappropriate behaviour started when Sylvia was 11. It halted when Freud returned to England and married, but in 1952 Sylvia’s family hit problems and she was sent to live with Freud. The inappropriate behaviour resumed, until Sylvia moved out of Freud’s house at age 19. Whilst Freud’s alleged behaviour was completely inappropriate, Sylvia said there was no penetrative sex until years later, and that was consensual.
The anonymous woman in Exposure was much later, starting in 1971. Freud met her parents when she was 11, and a similar pattern occurred. Freud befriended the parents, then started grooming the girl, taking her to the House of Commons. In 1978, when she was 18, he cooked a meal for her in her parent’s flat, then allegedly raped her. The woman’s mother dismissed it as a bad sexual experience.
Vicky Hayes came forward and related a similar tale. She says that Freud was friendly with her parents, and started grooming her at age 14, around 1956. When she was 17, she claims that Freud raped her in his home in Suffolk, then took her to the races in Newmarket.
Rosemary Rimmer-Clay’s story does not fit the befriend, groom, abuse pattern. In 1975, Clement Freud was rector at Dundee University and Rosemary was a second-year student there. They met at a Burns Night supper, and Freud asked Rosemary to have a coffee, going to her flat to do so. Freud cooked her an omelette before allegedly lunging at her. Rosemary was able to extricate herself from the situation by saying that her sister taught Freud’s daughter.
Janet Rowlerson’s story is somewhat odd. They both attended the 1978 Man Booker prize ceremony, though they were not introduced to each other and did not speak to each other. Janet was 16 at the time. Somehow Freud was able to trace her to her place of employment, and sent her a letter there, on Commons-headed notepaper. He invited Janet to meet him where he was doing a broadcast and for dinner afterwards. It seems nothing came of this.
In the month since Exposure aired, the list of people coming forward is limited to just 4 people – Sylvia Woosley, Vicky Hayes, Rosemary Rimmer-Clay and Janet Rowlerson. This does not mean there are no others involved. The anonymous woman in Exposure did not come forward. She was tracked down by the Exposure team via a comment she left on Clement Freud’s obituary. So there may be others.
Based on the allegations above, Freud appears to have had an interest in girls approaching puberty, indulging in indecent acts, but waiting until they had reached the age of consent before having sex, whether consent was given or not.
Madeleine McCann, at age nearly 4, does not fit Freud’s MO in the slightest, so a connection between the McCanns and Clement Freud does not appear to be based on his sexual predilections. However, meet them he did, and if it was not part of his pattern, the question arises – what was it?