Ronnie Kray spoke openly about bisexuality in Sixties: ‘Boasted about affairs’

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    The second episode of ‘Secrets of the Krays’ airs tonight on ITV at 9pm. The Kray twins were the most prominent criminals in London’s East End during the Fifties and Sixties with the pair involved in armed robberies, arson, protection rackets, assault and even murder. Yet despite their infamy, as West End nightclub owners the twins went on to mix with politicians and some of the most famous entertainers of the day, including Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Diana Dors.

    The second episode of the ITV programme charts Ronnie and Reginald ‘Reggie’ Kray’s rise to the height of their power, before murder leads to the downfall of their criminal empire.

    The programme includes interviews from Tom Mangold, who was a one time friend of the Krays, and Michael Emmett, who befriended Reggie Kray in prison in the Nineties. 

    The first episode of ‘Secrets of the Krays’, which aired last week, charts the twins’ rise to becoming prominent figures in the UK, through protection rackets, thuggery and violence.

    A portion of the documentary also focuses on Ronnie’s sexuality.

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    Ronnie Kray

    Ronnie Kray was open about his bisexuality (Image: Getty)

    At the height

    At the height of their success the Krays rubbed shoulders with actors and musicians (Image: gETTY)

    In his book ‘My Story’ Ronnie Kray stated he was a bisexual, though this was not a revelation to those in the gangster’s circle during the Sixties.

    Nemone Lethbridge, who was the Kray twins’ barrister from 1957 to 1962, said on the ITV documentary: “I was aware of Ron’s homosexuality because he talked openly about it.

    “Ron would boast about his affairs but he said, ‘It’s alright because I’m a giver not a receiver.’

    “But he was fearless. He really was not frightened of anybody, or ashamed.”

    The Krays

    The Krays were the most notorious UK gangsters of the Sixties (Image: Getty)

    In the Sixties Ronnie had planned to marry a woman named Monica who he had dated for three years, but was arrested before he had the chance.

    He subsequently married two other women, wedding Elaine Mildener in 1985 at Broadmore chapel, before divorcing her four years later. 

    He then married Kate Howard, whom he divorced in 1994. 

    During the Sixties, however, he would openly flirt with male members of his gang.

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    rONALD

    Ronnie died in prison (Image: Getty)

    Joe Bailey, who was a member of the Kray Firm said: “He liked me big time. He used to say, ‘Why don’t you come round my mum’s for dinner.’

    “I said, ‘I can’t, I’m going out with my girlfriend.”

    “Wherever he went people used to see him and he’d sit there [and say] ‘Hello, how are you? Would you like a drink?’

    “And he’d put his arm around the back of them. But I took no notice. I didn’t care.”

    Ronnie

    Ronnie’s mum was supportive of her son’s sexuality (Image: Getty)

    Despite homosexuality being illegal until 1967, Ronnie was comfortable revealing that he was not straight to his mother as a boy.

    The Kray’s cousin and neighbour Kim Peat said: “When he was quite young he spoke to his mum and he said, ‘Mum, I’m not keen on women in that way’.

    “So she said, ‘What’s that then?’”

    “[He said] ‘I’m not attracted to them. I like men.’

    “So she went, ‘Oh alright. That’s alright then’. She didn’t take any notice.

    “She was very broad-minded Viola. I don’t suppose his dad was very pleased. Very homophobic.”

    Watch ‘Secrets of the Krays’ tonight on ITV at 9pm.

    Published at Tue, 01 Feb 2022 19:00:00 +0000

    Ronnie Kray spoke openly about bisexuality in Sixties: ‘Boasted about affairs’

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