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Jeremy Thorpe
(April 29, 1929 - December 4, 2014) U.K.

Jeremy Thorpe

Politician

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The son of a Tory MP, he was educated at Eton and Oxford, where he was president of the Union, and became a barrister in 1954. He was a brilliant scholar and a witty public speaker. He was active in the Liberal Party from his youth and in 1959 was elected MP for North devon.

In 1968 he married Caroline Allpass, with whom he had a daughter. Caroline was killed in a car accident and in 1973 Thorpe married Marion, Countess of Harewood.

Jeremy ThorpeIn 1975 Norman Scott, an ex model, alleged that Thorpe had tried to have him killed, and that he and Thorpe had a homosexual affair in the early 1960s, and that Thorpe had threatened to kill him if he revealed this fact. It emerged that Scott had sold letters from Thorpe to the tabloid newspapers. Thorpe denied all these allegations, but the subsequent media scandal forced him to resign as Liberal leader in 1976.

The trial of Thorpe took place under intense media scrutiny. At the trial Scott alleged that Thorpe had seduced him in 1961, and that they had been lovers for three years. He also related how he had bitten the pillow while Thorpe sodomised him. After thorpe became Liberal leader, he had become concerned that Scott would reveal their relationship, and had offered to find him jobs abroad to buy his silence. In 1968, when Scott had threatened to speak out, Thorpe had first considered having Scott killed.

Thorpe denied all these claims. After a month of proceedings and a long deliberation, he was found not guilty. After the trial Thorpe disappeared from public life. Thorpe has never made any statement about his sexuality, and it seems unlikely he is going to do so.

He died, aged 85, after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease

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Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History, from WWII to Present Day, Routledge, London, 2001

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