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Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Harry Alan Towers and Mariella Novotny

Harry Alan Towers was born in London on 19th October, 1920. During the Second World War he joined the Royal Air Force. Later he became programme director for British Forces radio. In 1946 Towers joined forces with his mother, Margaret Miller Towers, to establish a company called Towers of London that sold various syndicated radio shows around the world.

In 1955 Independent Television (ITV) was established as a public service network of British commercial television broadcasters, set up under the Independent Television Authority (ITA) to provide competition to the BBC. Later that year Towers began producing television programmes for ITV including The Golden Fleece (1955), The Boy About the Place (1955), Teddy Gang (1956), The Lady Asks for Help (1956), The Scarlet Pimpernel (1956), The Suicide Club (1956), The Little Black Book (1956), The New Adventures of Martin Kane (1957), A Christmas Carol (1958), 24 Hours a Day (1959), Down to the Sea (1959), Gun Rule (1959) and Missing Person (1959).

According to Anthony Summers, Towers was by 1960 "a prosperous film producer working, out of Hollywood and Toronto". Towers was a regular visitor to London and at a party held by American millionaire Huntington Hartford he was introduced by Stephen Ward to Mariella Novotny. She later claimed that "Towers said he could make me into a television model for commercials in America."

In December 1960, Mariella Novotny arrived in New York City. She later told a friend that "I wanted to be famous and show my mother that I could make a go of life myself." Novotny was arrested on 3rd March 1961 by the FBI and was charged with soliciting. Three days later Towers was charged with violation of the White Slave Traffic Act, alleging that he had transported Novotny from England to New York for the purpose of prostitution.

In a statement made to the FBI, Novotny claimed that: "Towers took me to the Great Northern Hotel... The following afternoon Towers brought a prostitution date to me, who paid me $40 to commit a sexual act. Thereafter I entertained prostitution dates regularly and earned approximately $400 a week. I gave Towers about $300 of this money." Novotny added: "Towers was present when prostitution acts were committed." She provided detailed lists of madames and prostitutes who had arranged dates, or gone on threesomes with her - all, she claimed, introduced to her by Towers. Novotny also told the FBI that "Towers was a Soviet agent and that Soviets wanted information for purposes of compromise of prominent individuals."

Towers provided a different interpretation on what happened: "I had an affair with her (Mariella Novotny) and didn't know she was a hooker. Our total involvement was that she joined me in New York and lived with me in a couple of hotels... I got into trouble through my own stupidity.... I was in the other room writing a screenplay. She came rushing into the room - she wasn't living with me then, she'd asked if she could come up to meet somebody - I was busy working when she rushed in naked and said there was a policeman in the other room."

Philip Knightley explains that: "Towers was held in the Manhattan House of Detention on $10,000 bail until his hearing, set down for 7 March... On 15 March Towers's bail was reduced to $5,000 and he was released. He appeared before a grand jury on 12 April on five counts of violating the WSTA. On 25 April he came up before judge Charles M. Metzner and pleaded not guilty to all five charges." Knightley adds that the District Attorney asked that bail be increased to $25,000 because "a large number of influential and wealthy persons involved in this case would like to see the defendant out of the country." The judge refused the request and as a result by the time his trial was due to begin on 16th May 1961, Towers had fled the country. According to a report written by J. Edgar Hoover, Towers was now living in the Soviet Union.

On 31st May 1961 Mariella Novotny boarded the Cunard liner, Queen Mary, using the false name of Mrs R. Tyson. By the time the ship reached Southampton, the British immigration authorities had received word from the FBI that Tyson was really Mariella Novotny and that she was wanted in the United States in a "sex-for-sale" case which involved men in "high elective office in the United States government."

The FBI case against Towers and Novotny was eventually dropped. Novotny returned to running sex parties in London. So many senior politicians attended that she began referring to herself as the "government's Chief Whip". As well as British politicians such as John Profumo and Ernest Marples, foreign leaders such as Willy Brandt and Ayub Khan, attended these parties.

Mandy Rice-Davies later wrote in her autobiography: "In early 1962 I received an offer to make a television commercial in the States. The producer had come to England to find a girl with a British accent, typically British-looking." On 11th July, 1962, Rice-Davies and Christine Keeler, arrived in New York City. They stayed at a hotel on Fire Island. According to Rice-Davies she fell asleep on the beach and was badly sunburnt. She telephoned the studio and told them: "I've had this accident - first-degree sunburn. It will take about a month if I am lucky to get my skin back in order." The women returned to London on 18th July. It later emerged that their movements in America were being monitored by the FBI.

Was this producer Harry Alan Towers? Rice-Davies does not name the producer but it is an interesting fact that Rice-Davies later appeared in a film, Black Venus, that was produced by Towers.

In June, 1963, J. Edgar Hoover produced an internal memo on the Profumo Scandal:

For information. John Profumo was British Minister of War until his recent resignation following disclosure of his relations with Christine Keeler. Stephen Ward, London osteopath, has been arrested in London charged with living on the earnings of Keeler and Marilyn Rice-Davies, prostitutes. Ward's operations reportedly part of a large vice ring involving many people including many prominent people in the U.S. and England including other Ministers of British Cabinet not yet identified. Other individuals involved include Yevgeny Ivanov, aka Eugene Ivanov, former Soviet Naval Attache, London, who patronised Keeler and who reportedly requested Keeler to obtain information from Profumo; Thomas J. Corbally, U.S. citizen engaged in business in Britain, who reportedly gave wild parties in his flat; Michael H. B. Eddowes, British attorney for Keeler, now in the U.S. representing her interests re sale of her story to publications; Horace Dibben, British citizen, in whose residence sex orgies were held is husband of Maria Novotny; Maria Novotny is prostitute who operated in NYC, was arrested on March three, one nine six one, and was victim in white slave case involving her procurer, Alan Towers. She fled to England and has participated in orgies at Ward residence. Alan Towers was in NYC for two years prior to his arrest in above white slave case. He jumped bail and is now a bureau fugitive. He is reportedly now permanently residing behind Iron Curtain. Novotny alleges Towers was a Soviet agent and that Soviets wanted information for purposes of compromise of prominent individuals; Lord Astor of England on whose Cliveden Estate sex orgies reportedly occurred: it was here that Profumo first met Keeler; Douglas Fairbanks, Jnr, movie actor; Earl Felton, American screen writer; and many others also involved.

Hoover was wrong to claim that Towers was living in the Soviet Union. In fact, he was successfully producing films in London. However, it is this passage that is very interesting: "Ward's operations reportedly part of a large vice ring involving many people including many prominent people in the U.S. and England including other Ministers of British Cabinet not yet identified. Other individuals involved include Yevgeny Ivanov, aka Eugene Ivanov, former Soviet Naval Attache, London, who patronised Keeler and who reportedly requested Keeler to obtain information from Profumo; Thomas J. Corbally, U.S. citizen engaged in business in Britain, who reportedly gave wild parties in his flat... Novotny alleges Towers was a Soviet agent and that Soviets wanted information for purposes of compromise of prominent individuals; Lord Astor of England on whose Cliveden Estate sex orgies reportedly occurred: it was here that Profumo first met Keeler; Douglas Fairbanks, Jnr, movie actor; Earl Felton, American screen writer; and many others also involved." Hoover was obviously being kept in the dark about what was really happening. It was a MI5/CIA honeytrap operation. Both Thomas J. Corbally and Earl Felton were both CIA informants.

Towers was clearly rewarded for the help he gave MI5/CIA. He enjoyed a successful career in movies. Despite being 88 years old he is currently producing Moll Flanders that will be released next year.

For more information on Towers read my page on him. Then compare it to the page provided by Wikipedia:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPYtowers.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Alan_Towers

For his television and movie career see:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0869935/

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