Max’s ex takes tawdry trip down mem­ory lane

Jo West­wood says her hus­band’s ex­plicit pho­tos of women made her un­com­fort­able and him smug

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - RE­BECCA CAMBER

He kept the let­ter next to his bed like a trophy

MAX CLIF­FORD kept a bin bag of sex­ual photographs of women at his £3.5 mil­lion (R62m) home, his ex-wife has re­vealed.

The mil­lion­aire celebrity pub­li­cist, who once rep­re­sented hon­ey­moon mur­der ac­cused Shrien De­wani, and was jailed for eight years for sex­u­ally abus­ing teenage girls, kept sick­en­ing me­men­tos from women he en­coun­tered dur­ing his 50-year ca­reer.

Speak­ing for the first time, Jo West­wood, 51, who di­vorced the 71-year-old sex­ual preda­tor 18 days after he was jailed, said Clif­ford boasted about his pri­vate stash of pho­tos.

“I felt very un­com­fort­able about it. It was a bag full of photographs of women.

“I made it clear to him that I didn’t like them be­ing in the house and he put them some­where, I don’t know where.

“Some of them had faces but a lot of them didn’t and they were sex­ual.

“When I said to him: ‘How did you get all th­ese?’ he would say: ‘I just used to be able to get women to do what­ever I wanted.’ ”

West­wood, who worked as his per­sonal as­sis­tant be­fore they mar­ried four years ago, told in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist Mark Wil­liams-Thomas of her shock on dis­cov­er­ing a let­ter from one of Clif­ford’s vic­tims, which would later trig­ger his down­fall.

The woman, now us­ing the pseu­do­nym Cathy John­son, wrote anony­mously in 2011 ask­ing him if he was proud of be­ing a child abuser after she en­dured four months of sex­ual abuse at Clif­ford’s hands when she was 15, which ended only after the trau­ma­tised young­ster threat­ened to com­mit sui­cide.

She wrote: “I won­dered if you re­mem­bered, as I do, the child sex­ual abuse you en­gaged in? You took plea­sure in de­grad­ing me, abus­ing me and re­turn­ing me to my home with a story so my par­ents didn’t be­come sus­pi­cious, so they would be fooled their daugh­ter was in safe hands and not those of a pae­dophile.

“You made my life a liv­ing hell. I had no one to turn to. You were very clever – an A+ in groom­ing chil­dren. How proud you must be.”

On see­ing the let­ter, West­wood urged Clif­ford to go to the po­lice.

In­stead he kept the let­ter next to his bed like a trophy.

She said: “He came home from work one day and said that he’d re­ceived this let­ter. He showed me the let­ter and I was hor­ri­fied. I said: ‘Well, I think you should go to the po­lice,’ and he said: ‘No I’m not go­ing to the po­lice.’

“I said: ‘What are you go­ing to do?’ and he said: ‘Tear it up and put it in the bin where it be­longs.’

“I thought that’s what he’d done with it. Then a lit­tle while later when I was go­ing through the draw­ers, I found the let­ter and I felt so un­com­fort­able about it I took a copy, be­cause at that time I was go­ing to leave him, and this was just more ev­i­dence of some of the things I was hav­ing to put up with.

“I feel desperately sorry for this per­son.”

After Clif­ford’s case passed through West­min­ster Mag­is­trates’ Court in London, West­wood re­fused to at­tend his trial at South­wark Crown Court in May.

She said: “I was in a ter­ri­ble state. I wasn’t eat­ing, I wasn’t sleep­ing. It was a hor­rid time.

“My mind was all over. One day I would think he’s go­ing to walk away, he’s go­ing to get off, another time I was think­ing the ev­i­dence is so strong he can’t pos­si­bly.”

Clif­ford was jailed in May on eight counts of in­de­cent as­sault be­tween 1977 and 1984 in which he used his celebrity con­nec­tions to lure women.

Weeks later, a court granted West­wood a di­vorce in just 105 seconds for his “un­rea­son­able be­hav­iour”. – Daily Mail

PIC­TURE: LEFTERIS PI­TARAKIS / AP

PROUD PAE­DOPHILE: Jo West­wood, con­victed sex of­fender Max Clif­ford’s for­mer PA then wife, re­veals he kept a bag of sex­ual pho­tos and a let­ter from a teenager he’d abused.

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