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Kray family express anger over film depicting one twin as gay

Natassja Zielinski August 8, 2014

Relatives of the infamous Kray twins have expressed anger after hearing that a new film about them implies married Reggie Kray was in fact gay.

Reggie, who was married to Frances Shea, and openly bisexual Ronnie were gangsters who controlled large swathes of East London in the 1950s and 1960s.

Some old gang associates interviewed by the film’s director Brian Helgeland have recently claimed that Reggie and Frances’ marriage was a sham, and others that her death – which was ruled a suicide – wasn’t an accident.

One of these was Wilf Pine, 70, who said: “They were both gay, not just Ronnie, but it was well hidden. Reggie’s marriage was a sham.”

However he stressed, “But Ronnie didn’t give Frances the pills which killed her – that’s rubbish.”

The Krays’ cousin, 80-year-old retired lorry driver Joe Lea, told the East London Advertiser: “What they told the film-makers is a load of filth.

“We read in one paper about Ronnie being a paedophile — we all know [sic] he was queer, but not a paedophile.

“People are spreading all this muck about.”

Rita Smith, a cousin who grew up with the twins in Vallance Road in Whitechapel, refuted the claims that Reggie had a hand in Frances’ death.

She said: “The paper said Reggie treated Frances terrible – but he didn’t. He loved every hair on her head.

“She was always a nervous person who we found out later tried to commit suicide when she was 13.”

The film will be called ‘Legend’, and is based on the book The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins by John Pearson.

It stars Tom Hardy as both twins and will be released next year.

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