LONDON — Scotland Yard detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have been alerted that Sigmund Freud’s grandson was a serial pedophile who had a villa close to the complex where the British schoolgirl went missing.
The sickening double life of Sir Clement Freud, a celebrated British broadcaster and politician, will be exposed by an ITV documentary due to air in Britain on Wednesday. Two women have come forward to claim that Feud abused them from the ages of 10 and 11.
Freud died in 2009, leaving his wife of 58 years, Lady June Freud, to apologize for decades of abuse. “I am shocked, deeply saddened, and profoundly sorry for what has happened to these women. I sincerely hope they will now have some peace,” she said.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Grange, which continues to investigate the McCann case, have been alerted to the revelations because Freud owned a villa in Praia de Luz at the time of the 3-year-old girl’s disappearance in 2007.
Freud befriended Madeleine McCann’s parents while police hunted through the Portuguese town in search of evidence that might lead to her discovery. A spokesman for the McCann family said they had not been aware of Freud’s criminal past. A source close to the McCanns told The Telegraph that they were “horrified” by the news.
The Freuds, who descend from Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, are one of Britain’s most famous families. Clement’s brother Lucian Freud was arguably the greatest British artist of his generation.
Clement Freud’s son, Matthew, a PR guru, is married to Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth. His daughter, a broadcaster, is the partner of Richard Curtis, the filmmaker behind Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Love Actually.
Freud first attracted attention as a celebrity chef before being elected as a member of Parliament in 1973. He served as a Liberal MP for 14 years and shared an office with the notorious pedophile Cyril Smith, who was also unmasked after his death and implicated in the alleged cover-up of a VIP Westminster pedophile ring.
Sylvia Woosley, a close family friend of the Freuds, said she was 10 when she was first groomed by Freud. “It was the first time, aged 10, that a father figure comes into my life… He’d stroke me and he’d kiss me at the back of the bus on the mouth… It was horrible and I didn’t like it. I was disgusted and upset,” she told ITV.
The abuse escalated, she said, when she was 14 and she was sent to live with Freud, his new wife, June, and their baby, in London. She said he would sneak into her room at night and rape her. Woosley eventually escaped the house, but her torment continued for decades.
“It’s the child in me that is speaking, actually, and that would like to be freed. And so I’m doing it for the girl in me that wants to be recognized having told the truth and for any others that have not got quite the courage but would like to,” she said.
A second woman, who asked not to be named, said she was groomed from the age of 11 by Freud when he was an MP. She said he had invited her on trips to Parliament, and later raped her and attempted to lock her and a friend in a basement.