Inside Madeleine McCann's parents' bizarre relationship with paedophile Clement Freud.


Content Warning – This post discusses sexual assault and may be triggering to some readers.

Two months after Madeleine McCann went missing, Madeleine’s parents received a surprising letter out of the blue.

At first, Kate and Gerry McCann thought the letter was a hoax.

After all, the letter came from Sir Clement Freud, a well-known British broadcaster and politician.

But when they called the number left on the note, Kate and Gerry soon discovered the letter was real.

Watch the official trailer for Netflix’s The Disappearance Of Madeleine McCann here. Post continues below…

The next day, the former MP, who owned a villa in the resort where Madeleine disappeared, invited Kate and Gerry and their twin children Sean and Amelie to his villa for strawberry vodka and chicken and mushroom risotto.

“Clement was incredibly warm, funny and instantly likeable,” Kate McCann wrote in her book Madeleine.

“He cheered us up with his lugubrious wit.”

For months after their first meeting, the McCanns and Freud stayed in touch, chatting over email and even meeting up for late night drinks.


But unbeknownst to Kate and Gerry, Clement Freud had an incredibly dark side.

In 2016, seven years after Freud passed away, three women made public allegations of child sexual abuse and rape by Freud.

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Madeleine McCann disappeared in 2007. Image: Getty.

One victim, Vicky Hayes, who was sexually assaulted by the disgraced late MP as a teenager, recalled feeling "very uneasy" after she read that Freud had befriended Kate and Gerry McCann.

"I read Kate McCann's book and was immediately upset and anxious that Clement Freud had invited the McCanns to his home," Hayes told ITV News in 2016.


"He was a private man, not the type to suddenly befriend a couple who had intense media attention. It really jarred me, it left me feeling very uneasy," she added.

"He had a home in Praia da Luz, but why invite them and cook for them?"

After reading Kate McCann's book, Vicky Hayes contacted the local police about her concerns. She received no response.

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Multiple women made allegations against Clement Freud. Image: Getty.

"Nobody else would have thought Freud capable of abuse and rape but he did it to me," Hayes told ITV News.

"He was capable of anything."

Another woman, Sylvia Woosley, who first met Freud when she was 10 and was sent to live with him at 14, told ITV that he abused her for years.

A second woman, who remained anonymous, claimed Freud abused her as a child and raped her when she was 18 years old.

According to the Freud family, however, Sir Clement was in the UK at the time of Madeleine's disappearance in May 2007.

Since the allegations came to light in 2016, Kate and Gerry McCann haven't publicly commented about their friendship with the late MP.

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.

For more on this topic:

The mysterious case of Rui Pedro, the other missing child in the Madeleine McCann documentary.

Inside the sex trafficking theory linked to Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.

What we know about the twin siblings of Madeleine McCann.

“This could be the breakthrough”: Madeleine McCann Netflix documentary claims she’s still alive.