John F. Kennedy is known for having numerous affairs over the course of his marriage to Jackie, one of America’s most beloved first ladies. What’s even more astonishing is that she reportedly knew about at least some of his infidelities but stayed by his side. JFK allegedly had dalliances with everyone from interns and secretaries to actresses and escorts.
Two Year Affair With Judith Campbell Exner
Divorcee Judith Campbell Exner reportedly met Kennedy in Las Vegas in 1960. She was introduced to him by Frank Sinatra while Kennedy was still a senator and a presidential candidate. Exner, who has been described as “stunningly beautiful,” detailed the affair in her 1977 memoir. Exner claimed she and Kennedy’s affair lasted for about two years, and she visited him often at the White House after he was elected president. Her claims have been backed up by phone records and other documents. But after she published her memoir, Kennedy’s staff lashed out at her and questioned the truthfulness of her accounts.
Exner Reveals Explosive Details
Exner had the dubious distinction of being the first of Kennedy’s lovers to be publicly outed. The public vilified her for showing that things weren’t quite so happy in Camelot. Exner introduced Kennedy to mobster Sam Giancana (with whom she later dated) and famously revealed she got pregnant with Kennedy’s child and had an abortion. Exner also said she knew about other women who had relationships with Kennedy. During an interview with People magazine in 1988, Exner had kind words for JFK, commenting: “Jack couldn’t have been more loving, more concerned about my feelings, more considerate, more gentle.”
Jackie Knew About Her Husband’s Affair
According to famous gossip columnist Liz Smith, Jackie Kennedy was very aware of her husband’s infidelities, including his affair with Exner. Smith commented, “Her good friends Truman Capote and Gore Vidal told me she knew all about Judith Exner and everybody else, and she read my stories on Judith with high interest.” Exner, who was born Judith Eileen Katherine Immoor, married actor William Campbell in 1952 at the age of 18. They divorced in 1958. Following her relationship with Kennedy, she had a son, David Bohrer, from another relationship. She wed her second husband, golfer Dan Exner, in 1975. She died in 1999 of breast cancer.
Mary Pinchot Meyer
Mary Pinchot Meyer was a painter who moved to Georgetown following her divorce from Central Intelligence Agency official Cord Meyer in 1958. She visited the President at the White House in 1961, and they became intimate. In 2016, a love letter Kennedy wrote to Pinchot Meyer one month before he was assassinated was auctioned for nearly $89,000. He wrote: “Why don’t you leave suburbia for once — come and see me — either here — or at the Cape next week or in Boston the 19th. I know it is unwise, irrational, and that you may hate it — on the other hand you may not — and I will love it.”
Kennedy Sought Advice From His Lover
Kennedy added in the letter, “You say that it is good for me not to get what I want. After all of these years — you should give me a more loving answer than that. Why don’t you just say yes.” Meanwhile, Pinchot Meyer reportedly exerted a strong influence on Kennedy. The President’s aide Myer Feldman revealed in an interview with Nina Burleigh: “I think he might have thought more of her than some of the other women and discussed things that were on his mind, not just social gossip.” Burleigh commented, “Mary might actually have been a force for peace during some of the most frightening years of the cold war…”
Mary Pinchot Meyer’s Unsolved Murder
Pinchot Meyer was killed in October 1964 after being shot twice – once in the head and once in the back – at close range. Some conspiracy theorists blame her association with Kennedy for her death. An African-American man named Ray Crump was arrested for the crime, but there was no forensic evidence linking him to either Pinchot Meyer or the murder scene. He was acquitted in 1965. Her ex-husband Cord Meyer wrote in his 1982 biography that he rejected “journalistic speculation” that his ex-wife’s death had some explanation other than a sexually motivated assault that resulted in murder. Her murder has yet to be solved.
18 Month Affair With Mimi Alford
Mimi Alford was a young intern at the White House in 1962 when she started what would become an 18-month affair with Kennedy. She detailed the relationship in her 2012 memoir, Once Upon a Secret: My Affair With John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath. She wrote, “On my fourth day as a summer intern in the White House press office, I lost my virginity to President John F Kennedy. The experience was so wholly unexpected and surreal that, as I was driven home in a limo afterward, I wondered if it had all been a dream.” She was 19 years old.
Mimi Couldn’t Say No To The President
Alford added, “Could I have done anything to resist President Kennedy? I doubt it: once we were alone in his wife’s bedroom, he’d maneuvered me so swiftly and unexpectedly, and with such authority and strength, that, short of screaming, I don’t think anything would have thwarted his intentions. Friends invariably said: ‘You must see it, Mimi – you were set up! He was a predator.’ A few went a step further and brought up the word ‘rape’. I didn’t see it that way. That night, in the midst of my shock and confusion, I felt for the first time the thrill of being desired.”
Just An Affair, Nothing More
Alford was drawn to the President, but told People magazine in 2012 that she knew it was not likely to go anywhere because Kennedy “wasn’t looking for a relationship to replace his marriage.” In her book, Alford wrote that the president’s special assistant Dave Powers arranged her meetings with the president. Powers was known to be a “procurer” of women for Kennedy, according to biographer Laurence Leamer. Alford wrote in her memoir, “The fact that I was desired by the most famous and powerful man in America merely amplified the thrill. I simply couldn’t say no to the President.”
White House Secretary Jill Cowen
Jill Cowen was a White House secretary in the press office when she supposedly had an affair with Kennedy. She often accompanied the president during business trips. She has never spoken about the nature of their relationship or the possibility that it went beyond a working relationship. However, she and Priscilla Wear were known by the snarky security code names, “Fiddle and Faddle.” A former Secret Service agent told author Ronald Kessler, “Neither did much work.” The women reportedly left work often to skinny-dip in the pool with Kennedy and would return to their offices with wet hair, according to an Atlantic article by Caitlin Flanagan
The President’s Secretary Assisted In His Affair
Priscilla Wear was the other member of the “Fiddle and Faddle” team. Like Jill Cowen, she worked on the White House staff under the president’s secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, and reportedly hooked up with the president. Jackie Kennedy apparently knew about Wear’s purported affair with her husband, according to the president’s press aide, Barbara Gamarekian. During an oral history contained at the JFK Library, Gamarekian recalled the moment when Jackie talked about the affair to a Paris-Match reporter. Gamarekian commented, “Mrs. Kennedy said, ‘This is the girl who supposedly is sleeping with my husband,’ and the reporter was utterly taken aback.”
He Asked Jackie To Hire His Mistress
Kennedy obviously had a thing for secretaries as well as interns. And apparently even his wife Jackie’s staff wasn’t off limits. Pamela Turnure was from Georgetown, and some even compared her to the First Lady. She and the president reportedly carried on an affair for two years between 1961 and 1963. She was just 21 years old when they started hooking up. At first, Turnure was JFK’s secretary when he was a senator. She landed a job at the White House because Kennedy asked his wife Jackie to hire her. When Jackie was out of town, Turnure allegedly spent nights with the president.
Two Years Of Waiting For Gunilla Von Post
Gunilla was a 21-year-old Swedish socialite who met Kennedy, 36, three weeks before he married Jackie. Von Post wrote in her 1997 memoir that they met on the French Riviera, and “he turned and kissed me tenderly and my breath was taken away. The brightness of the moon and stars made his eyes appear bluer than the ocean beneath us.” They met up again two years later and ended up in bed. Van Post wrote, “I was relatively inexperienced, and Jack’s tenderness was a revelation. He said, ‘Gunilla, we’ve waited two years for this. It seems almost too good to be true, and I want to make you happy.’”
A Quickie With Marlene Dietrich
The German actress was both a friend and lover to Kennedy’s father, Joe. In 1963, she visited the White House for drinks when he made “a clumsy pass” at her in a bedroom. Marlene Dietrich was 60 at the time – 20 years older than the president. She had only 30 minutes to get to a one-woman show in Washington, to which Kennedy said, “That doesn’t give us much time, does it?” Dietrich later told pal Gore Vidal that she initially turned him down because of her age but then relented. Twenty minutes later, Kennedy fell asleep, but Dietrich had to wake him up because she didn’t know how to find her way out of the White House.
Did It Happen With Angie Dickinson?
There is no proof that Kennedy slept with actress Angie Dickinson, and the star has never discussed rumors about an affair. She was friends with Frank Sinatra, who introduced her to the president at a party hosted by Kennedy’s sister Pat in Santa Monica. The party was held prior to the 1960 Democratic convention. Following the soiree, Dickinson felt compelled to help out in the presidential campaign. Dickinson attended a dinner for Kennedy one night before the president-elect attended his inauguration. Sinatra hosted the dinner, and Dickinson allegedly flirted with Kennedy during the night. However, she has never confirmed they ever hooked up.
Ellen Rometsch was a prostitute from East Germany who has been compared to Elizabeth Taylor. She was a communist before moving to the United States. She worked as a call girl at the Quorum Club, which was housed in a three-room suite at the Carroll Arms Hotel, located across the street from the Senate Office Building. In 1963, she was a fixture at the naked pool parties held at the White House. She reportedly visited the White House several times with the express purpose of sleeping with Kennedy. In August 1963, Bobby Kennedy had her deported. He worried what her presence may have had on Kennedy’s re-election campaign.
An Affair Interupted With Blaze Starr
Stripper Blaze Starr met Kennedy in 1954 while working as a burlesque dancer. At the time, Kennedy was a congressman who visited the Maryland strip club where she worked. Starr claimed she slept with the future president before he was elected. When promoting her 1989 movie Blaze, she said of Kennedy’s bedroom skills that he was “very quick and very wild,” and that “he knew exactly what he was doin’ with girls, so it didn’t take him long. No, that bad back didn’t faze him.” Kennedy invited her to the White House in 1962, but nothing happened because they were interrupted by the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Spiteful Mistress Gene Tierney Votes For Nixon
Not technically a mistress, actress Gene Tierney met Kennedy in 1948, five years before he married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier. Tierney and her husband, designer Oleg Cassini, were temporarily separated. Kennedy was visiting the set of a film when the pair first locked eyes on one another. The couple reportedly were involved for a little while, but during a trip to Cape Cod he explained that with his political ambitions he couldn’t marry a non-Catholic actress. As a result, their relationship was short-lived, and she ended up going back to her husband. It’s likely that she wasn’t happy about the breakup. She later admitted she voted for Nixon, not Kennedy, in 1962.
Inga Arvad Was Also Friends With Hitler
Danish journalist Inga Arvad dated Kennedy from 1941 to 1942 when he served in the Navy — so she was his girlfriend, not his mistress. She is also famous for being one of Adolf Hitler’s guests during the 1936 Summer Olympics. During World War II she was suspected of being a Nazi spy due to her connections with Hitler. She was later cleared of the allegations. Kennedy reportedly nicknamed her “Inga Binga.” She became a writer for MGM and later a Hollywood gossip columnist until her death in 1973. She married three times; her third husband was the actor and military officer, Tim McCoy.
Marilyn Monroe, Maybe Mistress?
There’s no evidence that Kennedy had an affair with blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe, but it makes a good story. The pair reportedly hooked up after she sang “Happy Birthday” to the president during a fundraiser at Madison Square Garden in 1962. Rumors about their alleged affair only grew stronger following her death that same year of a drug overdose. When Monroe was secretly recorded on a sex tape, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover tried to prove that her partner was Kennedy. However, he was unable to make the case. Some people even believe that Kennedy was somehow involved in Monroe’s death.