LONDON -- A former defense ministry official has admitted to having a brief relationship in 1979 with a male prostitute who told Scotland Yard his other clients included a Soviet naval attache deported last year for spying.
Sir James Dunnett, former permanent undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Defense, admitted Sunday he had spent 50 minutes with transvestite Vikki de Lambray in 1979, five years after he retired.
Dunnett said he had informed the ministry of the incident and the ministry accepted his word that there had been no security risk.
De Lambray, who Dunnett said he picked up believing he was a woman, also claimed his clients included Capt. Anatoly Zotov, the Soviet naval attache deported in December 1982 and a former cabinet minister.
At the time, diplomatic sources said Zotov had unsuccessfully tried to recruit agents for the Soviets but was tripped up by British intelligence while attempting to form a spy ring.
Scotland Yard, which investigated de Lambray's claims, said it was not able to confirm the alleged liaison with Zotov and dismissed the claim of a liaison with a former cabinet minister.
De Lambray made the allegations while in prison awaiting trial for fraud, police said.
The Ministry of Defense said the incident occcurred five years after Dunnett retired.
'We are not aware of any security implications and it would appear to have been an isolated incident,' a defense spokesman said.