From Wikipedia entry on April Ashley:

April Ashley (born George Jamieson [in Liverpool] on April 25, 1935) is an English model, singer, and restaurant hostess. She was famously outed as a transsexual by the British press in 1961.

After an unhappy childhood in Liverpool, as one of six children of a Roman Catholic father and a Protestant mother, she moved to Paris in the 1950s and joined the cast of the cabaret show at the Carousel theater with the famous French entertainer Coccinelle. She had an early sex reassignment procedure in 1960 in Casablanca, Morocco under Dr. Georges Burou.

After returning to England, Ashley became a successful fashion model, appearing in such publications as Vogue, but she was outed by the Sunday People in 1961.


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She married Hon. Arthur Corbett in 1963, but the marriage did not last. In 1970 Corbett (later 3rd Baron Rowallan) successfully sought to have the marriage annulled on the grounds that Ashley had been born male, which set the precedent for the legal status of transsexuals in the United Kingdom until the Gender Recognition Act 2004 came into force.

In 2006, Ashley released her updated autobiography "First Lady" and made TV appearances on Channel Five News, This Morning and BBC News. In one interview, she said, "This is the real story and contains a lot of things I just couldn't say in 1982", including details of her affairs with Michael Hutchence, Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif, and the future 19th Duke of Infantado, among others. She also had an affair in the 1980s with Turner Prize sculptor Grayson Perry.

At one time, Catherine Zeta-Jones was rumoured to being playing April in a film story of her life.

Ashley had a small part in the film The Road to Hong Kong, which starred Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. Her credit, however, was dropped from the film after she was outed as transsexual by the Sunday People.

See also "Childhood" in on-line version of April Ashley's Odyssey by Duncan Fallowell and April Ashley and her website http://www.aprilashley.com/