So what did Max Clifford witness at Diana Dors' libidinous parties?
I admire Max Clifford and hope he gets through this and gets off whether he's guilty or not. I owe this man and his office a great debt of gratitude for inadvertently helping me to expose someone who made my life hell for a little while. Justice was well-served and came down in my favour, and I am sure that the same will happen to Mr Clifford. There's too much of nobodies crawling out of the woodwork and trying to besmirch the reputations of good people. And wasting public money.
To whoops and laughter, they watched grainy footage, transmitted via video-link, of an unsuspecting couple who had chosen to cavort in one of the dimly-lit upstairs bedrooms.
Some drank cocktails; others sprawled across the leopard-skin sofas. Through a pair of bronze doors lay the Egyptian-themed indoor swimming pool, guarded by a pair of black marble panthers and surrounded by ornamental pillars.
Diana Dors, the pin-up girl, actress, and TV personality who starred in 70 mostly low-budget films and more than 30 TV shows between 1947 and her death in 1984
Here, couples shed both their velvet flared trousers and what remained of their inhibitions.
They swam naked by the light of a backlit art-deco window or canoodled on the wicker pool furniture, which was upholstered in yet more leopard-skin.
If they wanted a change of scenery, it was off to a pink-walled upstairs bathroom, which contained a sunken Jacuzzi.
On the wall was a large two-way mirror that allowed those of a voyeuristic persuasion to watch from a next-door bedroom.
It’s fair to say that pretty much anything was acceptable during the infamous sex parties staged at Orchard Manor in Sunningdale, Berkshire throughout the Sixties, Seventies, and early Eighties.
Provided you didn’t damage the luxurious cream shag-pile carpets that covered not just every floor, but extended up an entire wall of the lounge, there were no rules.
The host of these regular Saturday night events was Diana Dors, the pin-up girl, actress, and TV personality who starred in 70 mostly low-budget films and more than 30 TV shows between 1947 and her death in 1984.
Thanks to Dors — who dubbed herself ‘the finest sex symbol Britain has produced since Lady Godiva’ — the guest lists included an extraordinary array of contemporary celebrities.
Though she never publicly revealed their names, Dors would often claim in interviews that a generation of film stars, socialites, sportsmen and TV personalities had caroused at her mock-Tudor home.
Indeed, she often joked that, were she to name all of the well-known people who’d had sex under its roof, she’d have been able to publish ‘my own version of Who’s Who’.
Despite her discretion, a smattering of famous attendees have been publicly named over the years, including the actors Richard Harris and Oliver Reed, musician Keith Moon, and the East-End gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray.
This week, another famous name was added to the roster, when Max Clifford told Southwark Crown Court that he attended the sex parties in his ‘younger days’.
The 70-year-old showbiz publicist, who denies 11 charges of indecent assault relating to seven females aged 14 to 20 between 1966 and 1984, described himself as a ‘friend of Dors’.
During cross-examination about his sexual history, he denied that the events amounted to orgies. ‘Sometimes there was sex, but they were not orgies,’ he said.
‘Not everyone who went there took their clothes off . . . There was kissing, caressing, and flirtation.’
However you describe them, what went on at Diana Dors’ infamous parties continues to fascinate and intrigue.
This week, another famous name was added to the roster, when Max Clifford told Southwark Crown Court that he attended the sex parties in his 'younger days'
The story begins in 1950, when the 19-year-old actress, who had been born Diana Mary Fluck — but changed her easily mispronounced surname at the start of her career — began dating a PR-savvy failed actor called Dennis Hamilton.
He became her manager and, following their wedding in 1951, set about attempting to turn his pneumatic bride, who was under contract to the English film company Rank, into a major star.
He decided that the path to fame lay in turning her into a British version of Marilyn Monroe, for the American blonde had recently had her big break and become a major success in Hollywood.
Hamilton staged a photo-call at the Cannes Film Festival where Dors modelled a mink bikini and leased a Rolls-Royce in her name so the popular Press could describe her as the “youngest registered keeper” of one of the luxury cars in the country.
To further cultivate her sex-kitten status, he held a series of fabulously decadent private parties, attended by the great-and-good of the day. Details were leaked to friendly journalists.
Among the most notorious was a party staged at their home in Kent in October 1952 to celebrate Diana’s 21st and Hamilton’s 27th birthday.
‘Hamilton decorated every room with hundreds of Christmas lights and invited 80 “unshockable’ guests, along with 20 top-notch prostitutes,” ’ records David Bret, in Hurricane In Mink, his biography of Dors.
The following month, the comedian Bob Monkhouse was persuaded to attend one of the gatherings. Monkhouse’s memoir, Crying With Laughter, recalls how Hamilton introduced him to an ‘obliging’ girl called Anita.
‘We walked through a hall of enormous houseplants, along a corridor decorated with nude drawings and “art photos”, and up to a dark panelled door.’
Inside the room was a circular bed, decorated in scarlet and purple silks. On the ceiling was a large mirror.
Monkhouse and Anita disrobed, only for the comedian to call a sudden halt to proceedings when the sound of laughter alerted him to the fact that they were being watched.
He burst out of the room and encountered Dors outside.
'Diana’s relationship with Hamilton was by then deeply troubled. He is said to have conducted multiple affairs and physically abused her'‘What a waste,’ she said, tilting her head in sorrow. ‘What a wicked waste. Still the night’s still young, and Hamilton’s got a cracker lined up next. Come on you squeamish boy, you, come upstairs and join us.’
Upstairs, Monkhouse discovered that the circular mirror in the ceiling was a two-way device which allowed party guests a bird’s eye view of the circular bed.
Hamilton’s efforts to stir up scandal paid off. Though the truth about her antics remained known only within her charmed circle, Dors became a gossip column staple and her career prospered.
In 1956, she signed a contract with Hollywood studio RKO and moved to Los Angeles.
It would, however, prove ill-fated.
At a glittering party to ‘launch’ her on the U.S. public, attended by Zsa Zsa Gabor, Doris Day, Liberace, John Wayne and Ginger Rogers, Dors was accidentally pushed into a swimming pool by an over-enthusiastic photographer.
In retaliation, Hamilton punched him, starting a mass brawl. That week’s National Enquirer magazine was not impressed by the hi-jinks and urged her to leave America with a story headlined: ‘Miss Dors go home — and take Mr Dors with you!’
Diana’s relationship with Hamilton was by then deeply troubled. He is said to have conducted multiple affairs and physically abused her.
She, in turn, began extra-marital relationships with — among others — the actor Rod Steiger, who made his name in films such as Oklahoma! and Doctor Zhivago.
In October 1956, less than six months after she arrived in LA, Dors announced her divorce. RKO studios fired her, citing the ‘moral clause’ in her contract.
Diana returned to the UK and, short of money, decided to write an autobiography. Called The True Story Of Diana Dors, it was serialised in 1958 by the News of the World.
In the book, she revealed everything about her life with Dennis Hamilton: the sex parties and two-way mirrors and Diana’s admission that her husband taped guests having sex.
Its publication caused an outrage.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, used a Sunday sermon to brand Dors a ‘wayward hussy’. The Mayor of Swindon, where she had been born, accused her of ‘bringing shame’ on the town.
The Press Council, Fleet Street’s regulator of the day, announced that the News of the World’s serialisation of the book was ‘grossly lewd and salacious . . . a disgrace to British journalism.’
The 70-year-old showbiz publicist, who denies 11 charges of indecent assault relating to seven females aged 14 to 20 between 1966 and 1984, described himself as a 'friend of Dors'
Though they had two children together, motherhood did little to keep her off the party circuit.
Indeed, in 1963, the landlord of her Surrey home served Dors with a bill for the then stratospheric amount of £1,300.
It partly covered the cost of damage caused at one of her notorious parties, at which the East End playboy Kim Waterfield arrived in a helicopter and churned up the lawn.
‘This had been a bash thrown in honour of the dancer Rudolf Nureyev,’ says Brett, ‘who Diana said had swanned into the house looking like Marlene Dietrich in white leather.’
Having made a show-stopping arrival, however, the dancer sulked all evening because no one treated him like he was actually Dietrich, spoiling his fantasy. He took his revenge by urinating on the helicopter.
The marriage to Richard Dawson ended in 1966 and he returned to America with their two sons. With her portion of their divorce settlement, the 35-year-old purchased Orchard Manor and began holding her parties there.
Troy Dante, a once-famous singer, who dated her at the time, later said of the bashes: ‘They were mainly for an older crowd, who liked to swap partners and drink heavily.’
At many of the events, Dante added, Dors would preside over a risque party-game called ‘Hot Seat’. ‘A guest had to sit on a chair and be asked lots of sexually based questions.
'If he or she gave an answer the other guests disagreed with, or could prove to be untrue, they’d have to do a forfeit, which usually involved taking their clothes off.’
In 1968, Dors met and married the man she considered the love of her life. Alan Lake was a jobbing actor and alcoholic who devoted the following years to virtually non-stop sex parties.
Their son, Jason Dors-Lake, who was born in 1969, later recalled: ‘Mum and Dad just said, “this is what happens” and I thought it was completely normal. It was definitely not how a child should be brought up.’
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, used a Sunday sermon to brand Dors a ‘wayward hussy’Jason spent his formative years in the house, where his parents rarely stopped carousing. His only company was Katie, an elder half-sister from Lake’s previous relationship.
Looking back on the era, Katie once said that it could be summed up by Captain Flynn, a parrot the family kept in their summer house.
‘He used to swear atrociously. No doubt he learned it from the scenes going on around him.’
Jason, for his part, recalled: ‘I just assumed it was normal to wake up in the morning and find Dad and Oliver Reed in the front room still up from the night before.’
Diana, who didn’t often drink, got a kind of vicarious pleasure from the debauchery of her guests, Jason believes.
‘Some people would be falling over and having sex, and dear old Mum would be there in a kaftan or whatever, interrupting to offer everybody a cup of tea and baking scones.’
Dors did not personally participate in the parties she arranged. ‘Sometimes she would disappear into a room with Dad and lock the door, but I never saw them with other people,’ he once recalled.
‘Mum was a terrible gossip and she lived off telling stories of what went on. That was why we had them. If you watched a film with her, as the credits rolled, she would start telling you that so and so had slept with this person on the film, who had been married to whoever.’
Jason was swept away by this heady lifestyle. At ten, he was first shown pornography. Aged 11, he witnessed group sex sessions at the house.
The revels only stopped in 1984, when Dors died from ovarian cancer, at the age of 52.
Four months later, after decades of alcohol abuse, and unable to cope without her, Alan Lake shot himself in the head on the landing next to Jason’s bedroom at Orchard Manor.
Jason was just 15. Orphaned, he was sent to live with a half-brother in California and in a few short years blew his modest inheritance. In the Nineties, he became addicted to drugs and alcohol.
It wasn’t until 11 years ago, after a failed suicide bid, that he managed to become sober. Aged 44, he now lives in Broadstairs, Kent, and last year published an autobiography.
For all the superficial glamour of those black marble panthers, the endless cocktails and the glittering film stars who lounged on leopard-print sofas, the parties hosted by his parents at Orchard Manor had caused terrible, lasting damage.
‘Sometimes, I wish that I’d had normal parents and a normal childhood,’ he admitted. ‘Maybe it would have been better for me if Mum hadn’t been famous. I would have had my innocence.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2592006/So-did-Max-Clifford-witness-Diana-Dors-libidinous-parties.html#ixzz2xJ4cP8Su
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook