Sunday, June 16, 2024



I am not usually one to be interested in tell-alls or reveals but the following articles about Jackie Kennedy are of interest to me and hopefully readers as well in that they relate to a part of history. I have been interested and fascinated by the Kennedy assassination since I heard of JFK’s assassination and have rread numerous books, watched films and docos. They say everyone, or at least those old enough, recalls where they were when they first heard the news of JFK’s assassination – in my case I was in bed asleep and my mother woke me to tell me. A particularly poignant announcement is that of the conductor at the Boston Symphony (where all the Kennedy’s came from):

The following post is lengthy but worth the read. It is a reprint of two articles from the Daily Mail about a new book by author Maureen Callahan.


Daily Mail
16 June 2024

An explosive new book by columnist Maureen Callahan reveals the scandals that dogged Jackie Kennedy's life after JFK's death.

On Friday, in the Mail's first exclusive extract from 'Ask Not: The Kennedys and the Women They Destroyed', Callahan revealed untold secrets of JFK's assassination in 1963 and his insatiable sexual appetite.

Now, in a new extract, Callahan explores Jackie's marriage to her 'gnome-like vulgarian' second husband Aristotle Onassis, the Greek shipping billionaire.

Here we detail the extract's ten most shocking revelations, from Aristotle's secret bisexuality, to Jackie's years-long affair with JFK's married brother Bobby, and her hospitalisation with an eating disorder:

After JFK's assassination on November 22, 1963, Jackie and her dead husband's brother Bobby bonded over their 'shared trauma' and embarked on a 'years-long affair' with the pair spotted 'dining out in New York City, openly kissing and cuddling.'

The affair came to an end when Bobby made his presidential bid in 1968. It is not clear whether Bobby's wife Ethel ever knew.

Jackie's second husband, Aristotle Onassis — who she she married in 1968 — was bisexual and 'had a string of bought-and-paid-for young men, some of whom he savagely beat after sex,' Callahan reveals.

The former First Lady 'negotiated 170 clauses in her marriage contract' with Onassis, including rules on how often she would have sex with him. For her hand, Onassis paid Jackie '$3 million upfront and $1 million for each of her children'.

Throughout their six year marriage, Onassis often treated Jackie 'like a prostitute' summoning her from New York to Greece 'at a moment's notice, to remind her, he said, of 'what she really was.'

Onassis was an exhibitionist who 'loved to have sex with [Jackie] in places where people could see them' including 'behind a first-class curtain and in a tender tethered to his yacht,' Callahan writes.

Cradling JFK's head in her lap in the seconds after he was shot and killed in 1963 left Jackie with 'permanent nerve damage' and 'excruciating, pulsating pain in her neck' from which she never recovered.

In 1971, Jackie started seeing psychiatrist Dr. Marianne Kris, who diagnosed her with PTSD — caused by both the trauma of JFK's assassination itself and his 'constant infidelities'.

After the National Enquirer ran a front page featuring a picture of Jackie with her belly 'looking distended' and headlined, 'Is she or isn't she expecting?', she 'went on a crash starvation diet', eating so little that she 'lost 24 pounds in nine days' and 'wound up in the hospital', Callahan reveals.

When Onassis's 24-year-old son Alexander died in a plane crash in 1973, he blamed Jackie, viewing her as the 'living embodiment of the Kennedy Curse'. One time he 'hit Jackie in the face and gave her a black eye.'

Whenever Jackie feared Onassis was cheating on her with opera singer Maria Callas, she 'started flashing his credit cards in the world's most expensive department'. She would buy 'doubles and triples' of items, 'reselling half her purchases and pocketing the cash,' Callahan reveals.

Jackie insisted that staff washed and ironed her bed linens — '12 pairs of hand-embroidered Italian pink sheets' — 'every morning and every afternoon, after her daily nap.'

Photographs from the above article:


An article from the same source the previous day:

Daily Mail
15 June 2024

Untold secrets of JFK's assassination and his insatiable addiction to sex revealed in MAUREEN CALLAHAN's new Kennedy biography

The day was hot and wild, the sun so strong. Jackie Kennedy went to put on her sunglasses, but the president said: 'No, please don't — they really came to see you.'

Driving along the streets of Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, she could hear the screams of her husband's supporters over the presidential motorcade. Ahead was a tunnel – a brief respite from the noise and the heat.

Then John F Kennedy, the youngest president in US history, turned to her in their backseat, his expression puzzled. He held his hand out to Jackie and then dropped it and a chunk of his head came flying off, white, not pink, and then he was slumped in her lap, his blood and brains all over her face, her legs.

Her roses and white gloves were soaked through with blood. It was so thick, almost neon.

'My God, what are they doing?' Jackie screamed. 'My God, they've killed my husband! Jack! Jack!'

Later, she'd have no memory of leaping out of her seat and crawling onto the trunk. Their black Lincoln Continental was now going 70 or 80 miles an hour.

She would have fallen had she not been grabbed by Secret Service agent Clint Hill, who saw the terror in her eyes.

'Get us to a hospital!' Hill screamed. The car was moving so fast that his sunglasses flew right off his face.

Jackie huddled over her husband, cradling his head, frantically tamping brain matter into his skull as if this could save him. 'Jack!' she yelled over the sirens and the screams and the motors gunning all around them. 'Jack! Can you hear me? My God — they've shot his head off!'

She never once asked if she'd been hit. She never asked if any of the blood was hers. She never flinched from the sheer carnage in that back seat. Her only concern was Jack.

At the hospital, she refused to let anyone near the president. Jackie shrunk down towards the floor of the car, pressing Jack's head tightly to her chest. If she couldn't save her husband's life, at least she could save his dignity.

It was Hill who realised: She didn't want the world to see the president this way.

He shook off his suit jacket and placed it over Jack's head. Reluctantly, Jackie let the Secret Service agents pull her out, but she held Hill's jacket over Jack's head as she ran beside his stretcher, clutching its side.

Then came the whoosh of the emergency room curtain, leaving her on the wrong side. Coming towards her was Dave Powers, one of Jack's closest aides, known jokingly as his 'other wife.' It was Dave who woke the president in the morning, who tied his necktie.

Jackie really loved Dave, largely because she had no idea what he really did: procure and hide Jack's numerous young lovers.

Dave burst into tears as Jackie, dry-eyed, sat on a folding chair and smoked, shooing away the doctors who kept trying to sedate her.

All around her, these big Texan men, police and surgeons, orderlies and interns, were losing their composure.

Incredibly, the president was still taking shallow breaths. 'I want to be in there when he dies,' Jackie said.

A nurse named Doris stood outside the curtain. 'You can't go in,' she told Jackie.

The formerly demure Jackie, tougher than anyone knew, shoved her aside.

'I'm going to get in that room', she said. Jackie had another voice, not the airy, high-pitched one she used in public but the deep, resonant one she used in private. 'It's my husband. His blood, his brains are all over me.'

The night before, the last time she and Jack would ever make love, they'd been hoping for another baby. But that very morning, Jackie started her period, her first since losing their newborn baby Patrick only a few weeks earlier.

She hadn't thought she could survive that loss; Patrick had lived less than two days.

The curtain parted. Jackie dropped to her knees and prayed. The hospital's chief neurosurgeon came in, took one look and knew the president was dead.

He performed CPR for ten minutes anyway. Then Jackie pressed her cheek against Jack's. She stared at his mouth and thought how beautiful it was.

Two priests came in to deliver last rites. After everyone left, alone with her husband for the final time, Jackie kissed his naked body everywhere: his mouth, his chest, his leg, his penis.

For all Jack's women, she was the last to possess him.

Just after their wedding in 1953, Jackie had caught Jack — then a US senator — receiving oral sex in his office, from a young girl under his desk.

Jackie wasn't naïve: she'd known from the start that Jack wouldn't be faithful, but she hadn't known just how promiscuous he was. He didn't even try to hide his affairs.

Days into their honeymoon, he'd suggested Jackie fly home alone so he could travel with 'friends'. She declined, and later felt ashamed she'd even considered his request.

She'd had no shortage of suitors before Jack. She'd actually been engaged to a stockbroker, John Husted, when she first met Jack Kennedy, who was then aged 35 to her 23.

Two months later, Jackie silently slipped her engagement ring into her fiancé's pocket and walked away.

Husted thought it was the coldest thing anyone had ever done to him, but to Jackie, who hated messy emotional scenes, it was the cleanest, kindest cut she could deliver.

Jack was hardly a sure thing, but she was laser-focused on landing him. He was a brilliant conversationalist who, as she did, relished history and literature as much as gossip and badinage.

Jack was a passport to a bigger life — unlike Husted, who would have left her to wither in some leafy suburb.

But Jack Kennedy was nothing if not a hunter, so Jackie knew she had to lure him in while being just unavailable enough. In the beginning, she'd miss his calls or not return them right away, but it turned out that he was just as elusive. It made her want him all the more.

Slowly, she began making herself indispensable — travelling to other states to hear him speak; accompanying him to rubber-chicken dinners; translating ten books in French for him, the junior senator from Massachusetts, just so he could have a more nuanced take on Indochina.

Three years after they married, in August 1956, Jack made a last-minute run to become the vice-presidential candidate.

Jackie, having suffered two miscarriages, was finally carrying a baby to the third trimester.

Years later, she'd learn her lost pregnancies were likely caused by all the sexually transmitted diseases — asymptomatic chlamydia among them — that Jack had passed to her.

But now, weeks away from giving birth, she was understandably anxious and afraid.

Yet she campaigned her heart out for Jack, and when he failed to get the vice-presidential nod, she asked him to stay with her. He said no.

The next morning he was off to the Mediterranean, sailing with his brother Teddy and fellow senator George Smathers — and everyone in Washington, DC, knew what Smathers and Jack got up to together.

Days after Jack's departure, Jackie woke up in agony. She was rushed to the hospital, where she gave birth by emergency caesarean section to a girl she called Arabella.

The baby was stillborn.

When Jackie came out of anesthesia at two in the morning, it was her brother-in-law Bobby Kennedy who broke the news, held her hand and made the excuse she badly wanted to believe: Jack was still at sea, unreachable in the Med.

Of course Jack was reachable in the Med. Bobby knew, because he'd already spoken to his brother.

'What's done is done,' Jack told Bobby over the phone. 'The baby is lost.' He saw no point in cutting short his holiday.

Mourning a child she was never allowed to see, Jackie got the message: Her husband couldn't — wouldn't — bother with comforting her, or grieving for their baby.

She was so weak and depressed that she couldn't even attend the burial.

So it was Bobby who stood over Arabella's coffin while Jack was sailing with his starlets and bikini babes off the south of France, drinking, smoking cigars, having fun.

'I'm never going back,' Jackie said. She wanted not just a divorce but an annulment from the Catholic Church.

When Jack heard this, self-preservation must have kicked in, because three days after Arabella's funeral – ten days after her stillbirth — he suddenly materialized in Jackie's hospital room.

Her nemesis, the equally lecherous George Smathers, was also responsible for Jack's return.

If he ever wanted to be president, Smathers said, 'you better haul your ass back to your wife.'

Greeting the press outside the hospital, Jack told reporters that his wife hadn't let him know about the stillbirth because she didn't want to ruin his vacation.

When Jackie was released, she retreated to her mother's Rhode Island estate, where she mourned her baby and her marriage.

'How could I have been so stupid?' she'd ask through tears.

Towards the end of that year, she confided in her neighbor, the newspaper magnate Walter Ridder, and asked him how a divorce would play out in the media.

'We have all known Jack is difficult in the ways of women,' Ridder told her. 'But: A), you knew that from the beginning, and B), I'm sure there are many moments that make up for it.

'If you should leave him and divorce him, there is no way he can be president. And I doubt you want that mark on your life.'

She didn't. Nor could she see that this wasn't something Jackie would do to Jack — rather, it was something he was doing to himself.

Despite everything, Jackie was still deeply in love with Jack. 'When he's around,' she told Ridder, 'he's just an enchantment.'

Nor was the admiration one-sided. Jack genuinely admired his wife's irreverence, her defiant streak, her capacious mind, her elevated taste level, the way she'd re-styled him with designer suits. Jackie really classed up the Kennedys, and she enjoyed it.

So, Jackie asked herself: Should she stay? Couldn't she just tolerate the infidelities, as so many women of their class did? After all, faithful husbands didn't necessarily make the most enthralling ones — let alone future American presidents.

There was another incentive: Jack's father, Joe, knew Jackie was a high-value asset. He offered her $1 million to stay in the marriage, and millions more if Jack ever gave her a sexually transmitted disease again.

Jackie's depression intensified. But Jack either couldn't see it – or didn't care.

Instead, he secretly packed off his wife to a mental hospital for the elite, Valleyhead in Massachusetts, where she had three rounds of electroshock therapy in one week.

Each treatment made her shake so violently that her bones sounded as if they were breaking. Jack never called, never visited. After a week, he sent his aide, Chuck Spalding, to collect her.

When she arrived at their DC home, Jack wasn't there; nor had he left a note. Jackie went into the bathroom and reached for his razor blades, thinking how easy it would be to draw a warm bath and a straight line down each wrist.

Had she ever been truly happy? She thought she'd gone into this marriage with eyes wide open, but Jack's cheating was unbearable, the humiliations unrelenting.

That night, Jack came home to find his wife utterly distraught. For once, he put her first, becoming the loving, supportive husband she so badly wanted. And it made a difference — for a while.

In 1957, Jackie gave birth to their first child, Caroline. This time, Jack was the first person she saw when she came to, wheeling their baby to her bedside. She'd often refer to this as the happiest day of her life.

Dr. Frank Finnerty was only 37 when Jackie met him socially in the spring of 1961. He seemed kind and grounded, and she asked if she could call him occasionally, just to talk. Finnerty wasn't a therapist; he was a cardiologist, but he was moved by Jackie's gesture. She seemed lonely.

'I know what's going on,' she told Finnerty. 'All these reporters — and they're almost always men — think I'm strange, that I must live off in my own world not to see what he's up to. I know exactly what he's up to.'

There were so many women. Jackie suspected that even Lee, her sister, had slept with Jack once.

She knew about Jack and Pamela Turnure, her own press secretary.

She knew about Jack's euphemistic 'pool parties' held almost daily in the White House — often attended by his brothers Ted and Bobby and various lackeys — and the young secretaries who'd join them.

Women ran up and down the back stairs whenever Jackie was away, leaving behind blonde hairs and bobby pins.

One she didn't know about was 19-year-old Mimi Beardsley, who worked in the White House secretarial pool. Jack had invited Mimi to the White House residence, gotten her drunk, and taken Mimi's virginity on the bed he shared with his wife.

In that same bed, Jackie once found a pair of women's knickers.

'Would you please shop around and find who these belong to?' she asked Jack coolly. 'They're not my size.'

She knew about his penchant for picking up girls while traveling. But did Jackie know about the three-ways, four-ways, and five-ways? About swapping hookers with his buddies? About the 15-year-old babysitter Jack had impregnated back when he was a senator?

'Jack needs to expel some kind of hormonal surge,' she told Dr. Finnerty. 'I don't think he even has affection for them. It's just this intrinsic part of his life, a vicious trait he inherited from his father.'

For a man with such a high libido, Jackie continued, Jack was terrible in bed. Was it her fault? 'He just goes too fast and falls asleep,' she said.

She wasn't to know that this was the complaint of every woman who'd had sex with Jack Kennedy: no kissing, no build-up, no intensity or sensuality or fun. He never lasted longer than three minutes and didn't even seem to enjoy sex. It was like a compulsion; there was never anything personal about it.

Finnerty advised Jackie to tell her husband she needed more affection, that foreplay would be his gift to her. Have the talk over a meal in a non-threatening way, he advised, and approach the problem logically and unemotionally.

Jackie did just that, and Jack's response surprised her. He had no idea that sex was so important to her, he said. Her interest was impressive. How had a nice girl like her become so intrigued by all things sexual?

Jackie had long thought of herself as an actress.

When she became First Lady in January 1961, she had to camouflage the spicier parts of her personality: the rapier wit, the rebellious nature, the ability to identify the sycophants and frauds. She was the lone woman who Jack took seriously.

Whenever out in public, she secretly wore a wig, insuring she only ever looked the part: immovable perfection.

So what if she wanted Chanel suits in every color, or piles of fine jewelry, or her hairdresser flown in from New York? She was, after all, becoming global brand ambassador for the House of Kennedy — at great personal cost.

Later in the afternoon of November 22, 1963, as her husband's casket was loaded onto Air Force One in Dallas, Jackie sat alone in the back of the plane, still wearing her pink Chanel suit, caked with Jack's blood and brains.

Everyone else, even the Secret Service detail, was weeping. An Air Force general was almost hysterical.

She'd been shocked, upon boarding, to find Vice President Lyndon Johnson — now the president — splayed on the bed she and Jack had made love in the day before. A clean white dress was laid out beside him, waiting for her.

Jackie's husband had been dead for just two hours. She stood before Lyndon in disbelief.

He left without saying a word, then came back with his wife, Lady Bird. Jackie was seated on the bed now, squeezed between the new president and First Lady. Trapped.

'Well,' Lyndon said, 'about the swearing-in …'

They wanted Jackie to stand next to Lyndon as he took the oath of office, for an image that would go around the world. Jackie was now the most important political figure in America. Without her, he could easily lose half the electorate.

Jackie's inner image-maker guided her now: The Actress. Yes, she said, she'd do it, but everyone had to stop trying to force her into that white dress. She wasn't changing.

'Let them see what they've done,' she said.

Jackie understood instantly: If she controlled the optics, she controlled the messaging. She could shape how history viewed her husband.

As they entered the main cabin, Lyndon took Jackie's hand. 'This is the saddest moment of my life,' he said, pulling her close. Then he turned to the White House photographer. 'Is this the way you want us?'

Jackie was the only one thinking three steps ahead: live television, tragedy, pageantry, history.

So it was Jackie who decided she would deplane Air Force One, still in the stained Chanel and clutching her handbag tight, in full view of the media.

It was Jackie who decided the ambulance transporting Jack's body to the autopsy had to be driven by Bill Greer, driver of the Lincoln Continental in which the president had been shot, so he would know she didn't blame him.

And it was Jackie who insisted on riding in the ambulance with Bobby, the coffin between them.

'What is the line,' Jackie asked Bobby, 'between histrionics and drama?' She was going for high theatre but worried she might be verging on camp. Her intention, however, was pure: this was all for Jack.

The ensuing three days of ceremonies, televised worldwide, were all down to Jackie.

She insisted on a riderless horse to draw the casket out of the White House Drive; simple flowers; no 'fat, ugly' black Cadillacs; and an eternal flame to light his grave at Arlington National Cemetery.

She had her eye not only on history but iconography. On the day of Jack's funeral, she stood with her two fatherless children on the North Portico of the White House. Among the images seared in 20th-century history: their two-year-old son, John Jr., stepping forward and saluting.

Despite the protestations of the Secret Service, Jackie led the funeral procession in a black veil and Givenchy dress, walking the quarter mile from the White House to the church behind Jack's flag-draped casket.

This funeral would be the first step in consecrating Jack's memory as she saw fit. Her eye wasn't only on history; she was going to enshrine their marriage as sacred. True. Real.

And she was going to transform the country's trauma, the violent death of a charismatic young president, into something regal and majestic.

One week after the assassination, Jackie summoned the historian Theodore White to her house on Cape Cod. She offered him an exclusive interview for Life magazine, so long as she had the final edit.

'How do you want him remembered?' White asked.

'One thing kept going through my mind,' she said. It was a lyric from a song Jack loved in the musical Camelot: 'Don't let it be forgot that, for one brief shining moment, there was Camelot.'

At night in the White House, she said, he'd play the song on their old Victrola record player, over and over.

White, like everyone else familiar with the president, knew this was untrue. Jack hadn't been interested in middlebrow Broadway musicals. He'd never employ such heavy-handed metaphor. Nor was he the kind of husband who cozied up with his wife every night.

When White had finished writing, he handed his draft to Jackie. She began cutting mercilessly and making her own additions.

Meanwhile, Life magazine was holding the presses at a cost of $30,000 per hour.

At around 2 a.m., White dictated the final draft to his editors from Jackie's kitchen. When they scoffed at the Camelot detail, Jackie looked at White and shook her head: It was her version or nothing.

And so Jackie's first draft of history won out. The very last line, written in her own back-slanted cursive, read: 'For one brief, shining moment, there was Camelot.'


Photographs from the above article (click on the article link above for the photo captions):

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