Thursday, April 26, 2012


A HERO BUT NOT A SAINT, April 14, 2012 By Steven G. JonesThis review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover) Mimi Alford's story is very believable and the book is well written. It is obvious that sharing her long held secret was necessary for her emotional healing and no one has a right to criticize her for telling her story. And her story is important for historians to get a better understanding of one aspect of Kennedy's character. Psychologists today would say that Kennedy had a compulsive sexual addiction. He used his power, money and good looks to seduce women as a way of escaping stress and distracting him from the almost constant physical pain that he suffered from. Also the steroids he took for his Addison's Disease most likely increased his sex drive. However, if we think more deeply this book can help teach us an important lesson. Unless a politician forcibly rapes someone or sexually molests a child or adolescent it is best that, while they are living, their sex lives be kept private just like everyone else's. If the public had known about Kennedy's sex life in 1960 he never would have been elected. Richard Nixon, who was closely aligned with the right-wing hawks in the Pentagon and CIA( as Vice President Nixon helped plan the Bay of Pigs invasion) would have given us a war with Cuba in 1961; a much earlier escalation of the conflict in Vietnam; and a showdown with the Soviets over Berlin very possibly resulting in a nuclear confrontation. Not to mention what would have happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The media that covered Washington in the days of FDR, Eisenhower and Kennedy were wiser than their current brethren. They had the common sense to realize that human sexuality is deeply personal and very complex and has little, or nothing, to do with the way a leader conducts himself in office. That is why despite the public knowledge of Kennedy's numerous sexual affairs he was still ranked as our sixth greatest president in the most recent American Historical Association poll of professional historians The saddest thing about this book is not how it tarnishes the image of JFK, but that it might distract us from the much more important( for us as citizens) task of understanding the significance of Kennedy's presidency and why he was murdered by the CIA. For that I direct readers to " JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters" by James Douglass. Sure we would all prefer a president who conducted himself morally in both private and public matters. but if given a choice between someone such as Kennedy who showed enormous courage and restraint in his efforts to keep us out of war; or someone like George W. Bush who, though faithful to his wife, lied and manipulated us into an unnecessary war, I would gladly take the former. We certainly know by now that John F. Kennedy was not a saint. But he most certainly was a hero.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
2.0 out of 5 stars Old news in this re-printed book of a brief footnote in time..., March 11, 2012
By C. B. Miller "C.B. Miller" (USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) This review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
I read through this short book while at a local book store. It is easy to read as it clocks in at around 200 pages. Having read the major works are JFK, [Schlesinger, Arthur, Jr. "A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House" (2002) [1965], Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner; Reeves, Richard. "President Kennedy: Profile of Power" (1993) and Dallek, Robert. "An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963" (2003)], I had a certain amount of passing interest in seeing what this book had to say.

I have been somewhat amazed at the amount of interest shown this re-printed and re-issued book (with a tweak to the title). It first was published in April 2011 by Hutchinson Radius, ISBN: 0091931754. I guess that did not get enough press or generate enough money, so the book was re-published by the giant Random House in Feb. 2012, with Ms. Alford then making some TV and press rounds. Which begs the question-if she really only wanted to tell the tale as she has stated, why re-publish the book and make all the TV rounds? It could have been told to a historian or published in a magazine article. It is also important to note that what is conveyed to the reader is according to Ms. Alford. Further, Mimi's alleged relationship with Kennedy was actually noted back in 2003 in Dallek's book about JFK. No big deal was made of it at the time. And certainly there is no one left alive to verify certain aspects of the book.

She states the affair began in the summer of 1962, after she was hired as an intern in the White House Press Office. She then goes on to cover the claimed time she spent with and without JFK. I found it interesting that the sexual aspect of the relationship was reported to have ended by August 1963. Thereafter, they only spent time together. Clearly, NO crime was committed and unlike what some other reviewer's allege in their point of view, this was a voluntary relationship that was something more that just about sex; one of enjoying each other's company. In the book, the relationship with JFK stops by page 128.

The failure of her first marriage is placed at the foot of the alleged affair. And to be fair, whatever happened, it would have had some impact on a person involved. Clearly, her first marriage was dysfunctional and the lack of communication screams out at the reader. Did she really believe her first husband Tony would "laugh about her youthful indiscretion" without digging deeper. To be fair, it is clear Tony did not want to discuss it or other feelings. She goes on to state, "she tried to be the perfect wife and mother..." which is impossible pressure in itself and as she found out, "...didn't mean I was happy". One is left with the impression her first marriage was bound for failure anyway. Further, one is left feeling that part of her sadness was the sudden and shocking murder of JFK. She never got the say goodbye to him, until visiting his grave at the end of the book with her second husband.

The matter of fidelity should be mentioned here. It is generally accepted history that men such as: Martin Luther King, Jr. (see: Garrow, David. "Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference" (1989). ISBN 978-0-06-056692-0); JFK; LBJ; and Grover Cleveland were engaged in activities with women outside of marriage. Further, President Franklin D. Roosevelt is reported to have had affairs with Lucy Mercer, who was given the code name "Mrs. Johnson" by the Secret Service; and also, Marguerite "Missy" LeHand, as well.

Also, President Eisenhower (during World War II) reportedly had an affair with driver, Kay Summersby who also co-wrote a book on it, "Past Forgetting: My Love Affair with Dwight D. Eisenhower". (1986 re-print) ISBN: 0002116456. No one seems to remember these events, nor do people condemn the men for personal failure in light of the overall lives and contributions they made to our world. It should be the same with John F. Kennedy.

It must be remembered that all of these men were humans, and therefore, less that perfect. That fact should make us connect more with them. We tend to forget that icons are humans, too. We should not place them on too high a pedestal. Was JFK a flawed human, of course, but and so is Ms. Alford and everyone else. Today, our country could use some of JFK's leadership and inspiration. We have become too much of a "what's in it for me" country; and the social wars have taken a heavy toll on our unity. In the end, JFK's personal life and relationship with his wife is really no one's business but his and his family. Ms. Alford and her alleged affair is a footnote in time. And she said, being a footnote was fine by her and as Ms. Alford put forth in People magazine (Feb. 27, 2012), she "would do it again..." That is her choice but not history that really needs to be remembered in the end.

Hard to Believe that an upper class NJ debutante, reared with the privilege of a finishing school such as Miss Porter's (same as Jackie K), and Wheaton College, wouldn't:
* wonder how it was she came to land "the plummiest of summer jobs -- an internship at the White House" in the press office of the Kennedy Administration. Huh? She didn't even bother to ask anyone how this miracle came to be? She had not applied or actively sought the position. Didn't her parents wonder? Hmmm.
* feel at least some upset at her loss of virginity just four days after she arrives at the White House, by the JFK himself, on Jackie's bed, no less?
* she confides in no one??!!! How weird is that!
* doesn't ever attempt to discuss the weird lunchtime pool swims with Fiddle and Jill?
* attributes, over and over, her daze-like actions, continuing to answer the summons for pools swims, and then bedding visits, to JFK's powerful magnetism
* never seems to give thought to the consequences of their beddings -- never considers or is worried that she could get pregnant?! And, she never does?!
* hard to believe JFK, our first Catholic president wasn't concerned about birth control -- oh, but wait, his good buddy Dave Powers has an abortion doctor waiting in the shadows, evidently prepared to help with any problem situations.
What a bunch of creeps.
* hard to believe Mimi was so passive and compliant she agrees to perform ora*l s*x on Dave Powers while JFK quietly observes? What??!!! This is just sick on so many levels, by all three of them! What kind of perverts were these guys, and what kind of weakling/dummy was she?
Her excuse, that she was just nineteen, and enthralled with the situation, is pathetic.

Also pathetic is the second half of her book, where she describes her failing marriage -- hardly a surprise, and then her new love. Did anyone else laugh out loud when this Manhattan resident, after marrying an obviously well off Dick Alford, describes their "Fridays" "When Dick and I review every penny we spent the previous week -- from the $26 to fill up the gas tank to the $10.50 matinee at the Triplex to $307.25 for an insurance premium."
Then, literally two pages later she starts a chapter with: "In early 2011, Dick and I had rented a house in West Palm Beach, Florida, to escape a brutal winter in Alford (Conn.)"
Are You Kidding Me???!!!!

This book was such a downer -- that a young woman, given all life's privileges, is willing to perform as a s*x slave for JFK without any concern for her own safety or dignity. That JFK was such a pervert. That Dave Powers also was such a pervert.
Not one character in this sorry tale looks admirable.

Monday, March 5, 2012


A good read, but a few questions remain..., March 3, 2012
By Glen Jacobs "Kane" (Texas) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
While I enjoyed this book, and I do believe that the writer DID have an affair with JFK, there were a few things in her story I do question.
Let me mention first what I do like about the book, and/or believe. She really takes us back to the 1960's, to the White House of that time. We get a sense of how it was back then,how different.
While she keeps the 'sex' pretty much at a PG level, there were still some details that caught me off guard. Even after JFK is killed, she keeps your attention, as the affair hangs over her personal life for many years.
Now, about some parts I may not believe....(Ok, I'll just talk about ONE)
There is no question that in 2003, Mimi was "found out" in the Bio "An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963" by Robert Dallek. Also, Kennedy press aide Barbara Gamarekian mentioned "Mimi" by name in her oral memoir transcribed by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in 1964, and unsealed in 2003. Ok. So she DID have the affair. I just wonder if she 'added' some details to her story. Case in point: She mentions that she and JFK took baths togther, and that he had some rubber ducks. She says they popped up after Vaughn Meader's comedy album The First Family came out. She says that in one skit, Meader (as the President)lists which toys are Caroline's or John's and then insists that "The rubber duck is mine!" So she says a friend of the President sent him the rubber ducks, because of that skit and famous line.
Well, you can listen to that skit on YOUTUBE. It's the 2nd skit on the album. The problem is, that it's a rubber SWAN, and not a duck. The line is "the rubber schwan [swan] is mine." Now, did he have rubber ducks in his tub? Maybe. Did she make the connection to the record, and just get it wrong? Maybe. But it made me wonder how much (if any-to be fair-she may be 100% telling the truth) that she 'added'....
Even if some parts were added to pad this quick read, it IS a good read. Fan of JFK, or not, I think it is worth your time...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hank Drake's review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars A short but eventful book, February 27, 2012
By Hank Drake (Cleveland, OH United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER) (VINE VOICE) This review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
It seems that the public's fascination with all-things Kennedy is in no danger of fading away. Between mini-series, conspiracy theories about President Kennedy's assassination, and various books, the family is still in the news - even though their political influence has waned. The latest news concerns this book written by Mimi Alford, who had an 18 month liaison with President Kennedy.

I remember the reference to Mimi in Robert Dallek's superb biography of JFK. Personally, I don't think these revelations amount to much of a controversy. It's been known for decades that the marriage between John and Jacqueline Kennedy was not particularly faithful.

As documented in Once Upon a Secret, the relationship between the President and Mimi Beardsley - as she was then known - was certainly not a love affair. Yet, based on Alford's recounting of several incidents between them, it became more than just a sexual liaison. Kennedy seemed genuinely interested in her life, confided to her his fears during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and wept in her presence while reading condolence letters following the death of his infant son, Patrick. It was around this time, August 1963, that JFK and Mimi stopped having sex, although they continued to see each other. To use modern parlance, they were "friends with benefits" although given the disparity between their ages and job titles, it was a very unbalanced friendship.

It's clear that Alford doesn't feel she was psychologically damaged by her relationship with President Kennedy. Rather, it was the need to keep it a secret that was destructive to her later in life. The demand for secrecy started with the affair itself - but the events of November 22, 1963 brought things into stark relief. When she learned of President Kennedy's assassination, Alford broke down in front of her fiancé, Tony. When Tony questioned her for being upset, Mimi confessed to the affair. She relates that Tony's reaction to the news was "violently explosive", and included an ultimatum that she was never to mention the affair to anyone. At that point, Mimi shut down emotionally, entering into a 26 year long marriage that was mostly unhappy. Mimi seldom allowed herself to think about her time with JFK and sold or destroyed gifts he had given her. By the 1980s, her marriage was crumbling around her, and she found solace in running and a brief affair with another runner. By that time, Mimi had revealed the JFK affair to a few close friends and relatives. After the divorce, she dated several men, but found her need for secrecy impaired her ability to communicate on many levels. As she tried to break through these barriers, she experienced a triumph. After a rather uncouth man suggested a second date, she bluntly replied "Let's not" and walked away, pumping her fist in triumph. It was only after Dallek's book appeared, and she was revealed to be "the Mimi", that she met a man she could be totally honest with.

Dallek has stated that he's astounded by some of the seamier information in Alford's book. Dallek's astonishment comes from the dichotomy between JFK's personal behavior and his obvious intellect - along with the measured, sober decisions he made as President. But after many years of reading history, I've come to the conclusion that there is no correlation between private morality and public leadership. George Washington married Martha for her money and his false teeth were not made of wood - they came from his slaves' mouths. Thomas Jefferson slept with his slave - who was also his wife's half-sister. No one serious has ever questioned Washington's or Jefferson's capacities as leaders. On the other hand, there have been numerous presidents who honored their marital vows, yet were disasters in office - no need to name them here. Whatever the revelations about JFK marriage, he was certainly the better alternative in 1960 than his opponent, Richard Nixon - a pathologically dishonest, secretive man who was nevertheless faithful to his wife, and who had no known sexual compulsions.

This is a short but eventful book. Alford's writing is crisp and to the point, her recollections of her liaison with JFK blunt but never lascivious. Ultimately, the message of this book is not political or historical, it's personal: Secrets destroy the soul, and often radiate fallout far beyond the initial protagonists. That's the lesson of the JFK-Mimi story.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

GREAT review of Alford's book

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
2.0 out of 5 stars Believable but not quite all the way, February 24, 2012
By CalifGrown - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
I bought this book for the simple fact that this woman's story had managed to stay a secret for so long and I was curious as to what she had to say about one of our most popular Presidents in modern history. I read the book from cover to cover and although well-written, I have never been so disgusted and angry by someone's story as much as I am with this author.

Not once did this woman -- whom I refrain from calling a "lady" -- express remorse to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, one of our most beloved First Ladies, for having sexual relations with her husband for the 17 months she met with him. Yes, we all know now and have for decades that Kennedy was a womanizer. But Mimi Alford didn't know this at the time and rather than think about Mrs. Kennedy's feelings, she hops in the sack with the President and in Jackie's bed. Over and over again, sometimes as much as three times a week she claims. How do you do that? The majority of American girls at that time knew right from wrong. They had a love and respect for our country, our President (we all cried on Nov. 22, 1963), and for our First Lady. Sure, President Kennedy was quite an attractive and powerful man and I am sure he knew that. The way the author describes herself at this time one immediately gets the impression of a very dumb, inexperienced young woman who had only been kissed by a boy once yet who was ready to go the races on the President's first advances. There's a word for women who do what she did and I believe it's fair to say she deserves to be called that by her revelation. But is it even true?

Any good writer with a vivid imagination, along with the convenience of everyone being dead today in her story, can create quite a fantasy and make it believable.

There's one point in her story that's rather absurd. It comes during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis when we came extremely close to nuclear war. Men, women, children, were upset and in a state of panic, teenagers were seen crying in school hallways across the country as they went from class to class, fearing it was the end of the world with both super powers preparing for World War III. Mimi, however, states that she was calm, cool and collected. And, that she rushed to President Kennedy's side where she was up all night with him and his right-hand man Dave Powers, as they two men agonized on a decision of what to do. Really? Why would a powerful man like Kennedy want a silly teenage girl hanging around on this very historical, important night, whose looks couldn't hold a candle to Marilyn Monroe or Jackie Kennedy herself? Why would Kennedy even risk having her seen around at such a late hour as those came in and out of the room as she claims happened at times? An even bigger question is why would any 1962 American teenage girl who listened to the Shirelles and Shangri-las "service" an old fogy like Dave Powers but turn down Kennedy's equally attractive younger brother Ted Kennedy? And while we're at it, why are there no photographs in this book? The only photographs are on the front and back covers but nowhere else. Very, very strange.

What's also hard to believe is that every single person in her inner circle, including her daughters, support her one hundred percent when she reveals that she had sexual relations with the 35th President of the United States. How unreal! Every single person she notes claims had a "yeah-it's-all-right-with-me" attitude towards her big revelation. Oh no. If my mother or grandmother revealed that that she had slept with the President of the United States I would be so ashamed of her. I certainly wouldn't be so quick to accept it.

It seems many who have reviewed this book, particularly women readers, seem to think there's nothing wrong with disrespecting Jackie Kennedy the way this woman did. But I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. It's a different America today than it was fifty years ago.

I don't know if Mimi Alford slept with John Fitzgerald Kennedy. What I do know is that I would have walked away from the book alright with her if she had only expressed some sort of remorse for her behavior behind our First Lady's back. Instead I came to know a very unsavory human being whom in my opinion still has a lot growing up to do at almost seventy. By all means buy the book. It's a subject that's hard to resist reading about. I am sure it has brought her a pretty penny.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Another interesting view

More Anti-Kennedy Propaganda, February 22, 2012
By don jeffries "dajeffries" (virginia, usa) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
It all started with Judith Campbell Exner. As the research of critic Jim DiEugenio has shown, Exner's story changed numerous times over the years. She cannot be considered credible by those interested in historical truth. Without her, the Seymour Hershs and C. David Heymanns of the world would not have been able to slander the reputation of one of the most courageous politicians of the twentieth century. As the 50th anniversary of JFK's death approaches, I really wish more people would trace all these sallacious rumors back to the original source.

There is absolutely no reason for anyone to uncritically accept Mimi Alford's tale. I've been astonished at how unskeptical alleged "journalists" have been about her allegations. Could she be telling the truth? Sure. But the same "journalists" who have scoffed at all the evidence indicating JFK's assassination was a conspiracy have accepted Alford's claims wholeheartedly, much as they accepted Exner's tales. If JFK was having all the sex they claim he was having, and somehow doing it as a middle-aged man with a bad back while supposedly covering up a very serious case of Parkinson's Disease, then his accomplishments become even more impressive.

Since Exner first burst upon the scene, there has been a continuous campaign on the part of the mainstream media to defame JFK's character and diminish his image in the public eye. The insinuations that Kennedy was a reckless serial adulterer, who was also in bed with the mafia (contradicted by the documented historical reality that the Kennedy administration was the only one in modern history to try to rein in organized crime), have served to convince a good number of people that JFK was a bad person, who deserved what he got in Dallas.

President John F. Kennedy tried to truly change things for the better. He took on big business, wanted to abolish the CIA, went after the mafia, rejected every overture towards war, opposed Israel's development of nuclear weapons, put into effect a plan to withdraw all U.S. personnel from viet Nam by 1965, and generally made a slew of powerful enemies who all had valid reasons to want him removed from office. Forgettable books like this serve only to reinforce the establishment's negative establishment historical image of JFK. Those of us who know the truth about the conspiracy that killed him in Dallas, because he was opposing powerful and corrupt forces, will continue to protest against these sensationalist stories.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

yet another view

Why bother - this story is in 25 other books already, February 18, 2012
By NJfromLA (Culver City, California United States) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
In the last month I've read about 25 Kennedy books. Over the years, I've read many, many more than that (there are a LOT of Kennedy bios, memoirs and autobios...I'm tired but determined to read as many as possible). This Mimi lady is familiar from those books - so her writing a book is not a surprise.

Jack Kennedy clearly had a sexual addiction fed by a father who encouraged this kind of behavior and Kennedy's own fatalistic view of a life -- his -- continually threatened by illness and early death from the time when he was a small boy. His acting out sexually had nothing to do with Jackie and her condoning it, as some have commented in various places. In fact, he chose the perfect life mate/wife for his addiction - a woman whose beloved father was the same type of guy. Jackie was probably attracted and intrigued by Jack BECAUSE of his wanton sexual behavior so familiar to her in the man she loved from birth.

However, I don't plan on reading this one (okay, you know that I will as I broke my rule reading trash when I read "Bobby and Jackie" - I'll be reviewing it soon) unless I find it at the dollar store because there's nothing of value. Why read it when he didn't even KISS HER!!! In eighteen months of sex?!! She was a drug for this guy, nothing more. I've read so many salacious books that another one is just overkill.

One thing though, all those writers who say that JFK was a lousy lay - apparently NOT! Haha. If you believe this nut, then you have to believe JFK was better in the boudoir than some have said (that Euro-trash woman who also wrote a book of their supposed affair several years ago also said he satisfied her as well). Also, did Mimi write about "the Kennedy clap?!" Many of the books that I've read (including one on Onassis) spoke about his venereal disease and I wonder how this woman didn't catch it - or maybe she did if she lost a baby with her husband shortly after. Untreated chlamydia is known to increase the odds of premature birth, still birth and miscarriage - and back then I believe it was easily left untreated. If Jack did have raging VD, imagine all the women he infected??!! Especially if he didn't use a condom. Yikes - scary.

Also, think of the psychology of JFK taking her sexually in Jackie's bed! Going beyond that is the fact that like Jackie, this girl had gone to Miss Porters school!!! Clearly, there was some kind of issue regarding his relationship with Jackie at play with some of his chosen addiction-based encounters.

Also, what was this chick doing in Jackie's BEDROOM in the first place! Of course she couldn't claim "rape," as she goes alone with this guy to his wife's bedroom - for WHAT! What did she think was going to happen. Even at 19 - ESPECIALLY at 19 AND especially with his well known sexual reputation (okay, she DOES admit that she wanted it...yet still she left the "r" word out there in her interviews...she can't have it both ways!)

As for her "only being 19" as someone else wrote here - I was alive in the 60's (younger than 19 I might add) and we weren't that dumb EVEN then. She didn't give a rats butt about his family and children and still doesn't to have written this book NOW, as what does it matter that she had sex with a man who never even kissed her in 18 months of encounters! What is the historical value in that. It was NO secret that Mr. President had at one time in his youth been known as "Mattress Jack," and that Mimi wasn't his only "piece of a**" working in the White House.

Also, I was a little girl in the 60's and I knew how babies were made. I could see a young woman who was a virgin not using birth control one or twice. But for months. AND she only got the threat of pregnancy ONLY ONCE! Yeah, right. Something's amiss with that story. Its not about Catholicism (I am Catholic myself) that Kennedy didn't use birth control. In fact, Jackie joked back then that Jack was a lousy Catholic (and Bobby a good one). He didn't use it because as an addict he didn't care about anything beyond his "fix" - in his case - scoring the sex. She didn't do it because maybe she WANTED something to result...for her to be remembered by...(anyone else thinking dress and Monica...)

Also, for those of you who want to doubt Jack and Jackie's commitment, this Mimi admits that The President wasn't doing her after Jackie got pregnant with Patrick because he was "spending more time with his wife" (quoted in an interview with her). That he was spending more time with his wife said that he was trying in that relationship (although it would have been impossible as we know that addicts can't change without help - I write this as I watch Whitney Houston's funeral - another addict who couldn't stop and paid the ultimate price).

So she had oral sex with his aide while he watched - a request she granted to him (okay she didn't do Teddy as requested - is she supposed to get kudos for that?!). Clearly, JFK was NEVER interested in Mimi, only in the female anatomy that she had that helped him to scratch his addiction itch.

Mimi had and has no shame about this affair... No remorse (okay she says "now" she feels remorse for Jackie...yet she wrote this book knowing her daughter and grandchildren are around to read it...and some of you here think that's okay...sick). Mimi had no caring of how this all would effect Jackie or Caroline or John, Jr. Jackie was NO fool and knew what was happening - and so did everyone else in the sheltered environment of the White House - and everyone knew that everyone knew... Still, Jackie hurt over it. Even though it probably perversely attracted her - she loved the guy (I truly have come to believe that Jackie was as vulnerable as everyone else was to his charm - she may have married him for position and money, but her feelings became engaged as well). Also, he was a good father and Jackie did not want her children hurt (as she had been as a child) by a scandal and divorce.

People say blame the husband he's the one with the commitment. I say blame any person who willingly does something that they know is wrong or unkind to our fellow man. Example, if you go into a store and the clerk gives you incorrect change and you knowingly KEEP it...that's your sin. Sure, the clerk made a mistake...but if you willingly participate in the mistake you are a thief. This Mimi willingly committed adultery with a married man and probably would have lied to her young husband and continued having sex if Kennedy ever called her again. I don't buy her story that she wouldn't have done it - clearly she revels in the fact that he wanted her in Dallas (although, he didn't want her to go for sex with HIM as another book claimed that he had injured his "groin" in early November and wasn't able to...you know. Thank goodness that Jackie wanted to go - and he LEFT his meaningless "piece" at home. Jackie helped this country heal by her courageous behavior at that time (I still remember his loss and I was but a little tike not much older that John, Jr.).

Mimi was and is desperate to be remembered by JFK and now the public. She is no better than another White House intern who kept a semen soiled dress... Really, her story (like Monica's) is rather pathetic.

What is truly amazing is that a guy with a myriad of illnesses - back pain, stomach issues, VD, mysterious fevers, etc., weakness, could get laid so much. AND, if you read any books about his time spent working (yes, he did work and was passionate about it!) and campaigning, one has to be really impressed with Jack Kennedy! I'm amazed at how functioning an addict he was. Although, clearly he was on borrowed time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Another view

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
The response to this book cracks me up, February 8, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
I love all these holier-than-thou people out there, acting as if Alford's word is the word of God, unimpeachable...give me a break! Also, her story was well known for the past 8-9 years (online+Dallek's book and Sally Bedell Smith's book, both being huge best-sellers). Since her story was already on the record, several times over, what was the motive for writing this slim volume? Money, money, money. We already knew JFK was a womanizer for decades. What's next-a book from "Fiddle" and "Faddle", the other White House "gals"? Oops---one is dead (Jill Cowan/"Faddle")...that still leaves "Fiddle." Oh, brother...


Recalling J.F.K.'s Dark Side

Published: February 15, 2012

Opinion: J.F.K.’s Intern (February 12, 2012) Regarding “An interview With J.F.K.’s intern” by Liesl Schillinger (Views, Feb. 13): Along with many Americans, I read every article I could find on the subject of Mimi Alford’s memoirs about her life as an intern in President Kennedy’s press office. Yet I was appalled by her comment in the interview that she finally “feels incredibly liberated.”

It’s one thing to admit to an affair with the president of the United States, but it’s another thing to go into graphic detail about J.F.K.’s dark side.

Although young at the time, Ms. Alford was an adult, knew right from wrong, and, by her own admission, consented to the affair. She was not raped. She deliberately and repeatedly had sexual relations with another woman’s husband. J.F.K. may have been a notorious womanizer, but what Ms. Alford did was wrong.

Why did she have the book published if it were not to make money?

Did she not once think of Caroline Kennedy and her children? Ms. Alford feels liberated but I wonder how J.F.K.’s granddaughters feel.

Mary Suzanne Glespen, Paris
10 of 25 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Profile in Cowardice, February 14, 2012
By Susan K. O'brien - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) This review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Audio CD)
Christopher of New Haven, in his review of this book, brings up the name "Judith Exner," one of the more professional of liars in the Kennedy saga. I remember the day I saw her on Phil Donohue's old show and she said she had breast cancer and only three months to live and he said, "So, you are terminal?" and she replied yes. Of course she was not sick and did not die. Thank you, Christopher, for pointing out the caliber of women who write such books by reminding me of Judith Exner.

President Kennedy, I so much wish, should have stayed on Cape Cod and in Palm Beach, playing golf, sailing his boat, and enjoying his grandchildren. If he had, he might still be alive today. He would have been so much better off living the life of wealth and leisure. Instead he went off to World War II where he sustained a back injury so painful he later underwent life-threatening surgery; despite the surgery, he was never without pain for the rest of his life. Despite that severe pain he ran for national office and campaigned in all kinds of bad weather, exposing himself to the West Virginia coal mines and the Midwestern farms in the middle of winter, both in an attempt to get votes but also to understand the lives of people far less privileged than he was. He gave his life for his country in Dallas, and was buried in Arlington Cemetery, partly in homage to that fact. What he received in return was an endless stream of unproven allegations demeaning him as a President, a father, a husband, and as a man, unproven accusations that no doubt hurt and damage his living heirs. Mr. President, it wasn't worth it.

Barbara Walters may have been harsh on the author of this book because she was a journalist in the Kennedy years and can remember all the very significant accomplishments of the Kennedy Administration. But President Kennedy's ground-breaking work to successfully mainstream retarded children; his long battle for Civil Rights, which might have cost him being re-elected; and his
fight to end the Cold War, produce nuclear disarmament and make democracy safe for future generations, all go unnoticed in a book like this. Why read about those boring things when it's so much juicier to pick up a cheap piece of salacious and unproven smut?

President Kennedy established the very first Commission on the Status of Women. Betty Friedan personally told me, "President Kennedy ennobled social change." That fact is little known or completely forgotten by those who take a book like this as any measure of this man. The entire Kennedy family was devoted to public service; Rose and Joseph Kennedy lost three sons to the fallout from that service. It is incredible to me that anyone could sum them up as nothing more than a family of high jinks and crude behavior. Let those people who say that lose three of their children to public service and then come back to tell how it feels, particularly if those children---because they were handsome and talented---then are trashed in cheap books.

Add to this the fact that there is no concrete evidence for the allegations in this book: and isn't it convenient that the last Kennedy brother, a great American Senator from Massachusetts, is dead, leaving no direct brother left to defend his assassinated brother? Senator Edward Kennedy was not an official of the Kennedy White House, but he was frequently in the White House during the administration and would have been privy to what went on. However, I suspect his personal dignity would not have allowed him to comment on junk books or events that should remain private.

Fifty years have gone by, while this woman sat silent. Now, she needs money or attention or to blame President Kennedy---incredible!!!!!---for a life of keeping secrets. That certainly fits in with a culture of no-responsibility-for-personal-actions. If her story is true, a huge if, she did with calculation carry on an affair for eighteen months. That took planning and effort and is not the action of an innocent young woman being pressured into sex.

Of course, if President Kennedy had not run for the office, we likely would have had Richard Nixon. Nixonian crimes are proven beyond a doubt and did great damage to this country, and one can only shudder to think what this country would have been like with even more of him on the national scene. But for many people, on the scale of things, President Kennedy's love life or lack of it is more important than any look at what might have happened if he had never run for office.

Mrs. Kennedy-Onassis, to my mind the most beautiful, graceful, cultured, intelligent and educated First Lady of the 20th Century, had a term for books like this. I hope this one gets remanded to that "river of sludge" where it belongs.

The Kennedys tried to do something to improve this country and the world, at great personal sacrifice. They all deserve better than to be defamed in death, when they can no longer defend themselves. This book is the opposite of a "Profile in Courage;" it's an act of complete cowardice.
9 of 29 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars IT'S NOT ENOUGH THAT THEY BLEW HIS BRAINS OUT, February 14, 2012
By a reader - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Kindle Edition)
his enemies continue to assassinate his character by paying slanderers to write rubbish - WHY? Because they want to destroy the memories of that era of hope he brought about through his radiant presence which he cast over the world while he was living. Don't let them destroy the priceless memories of JFK or the true image of his goodness.

There is not one SCINTILLA of evidence that JFK EVER! committed adultery and not a breath of scandal about his character appeared until these smear campaigns began in the late 1970's. That was a point when more Americans said they voted for him than actually did and investigations of the assasination were ratcheting up. Every woman he dated before he married - there were a handful - attested that his behavior was that of a gentleman at all times. And my family members who had the privilege of hearing his speeches live said the overwhelming impression was that this was a man of high moral principles.

I learned in theology class that "an unchaste person is a cruel person." JFK demonstrated compassion in all his words, works and ambitions. The morning of his last day on earth a black waiter had asked for a souvenir and he gave him his gold Pt-109 tie pin. It is his enemies who are unchaste and cruel and "liars and murderers from the beginning."

The best thing I can say about the author of this drivel is that she is delusional, engaging in wishful thinking, or worse, a bribed pathalogical liar. JFK died a cruel death at the hands of evil men and they continue to kill him in spirit . JFK was a great man - the world will never see the like of him again. These brazen lies are only matched by the brazen way he was killed - in broad daylight. I cannot fathom how so many willingly believe such unsubstantiated filth.
13 of 39 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Tabloid Literature, February 13, 2012
By Shade - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Kindle Edition)
In order to help you decide if you want to read this book or not, first you must ask yourself a couple of questions. 1) Are you the type of person who enjoys sniffing around in someone else's dirty underwear hamper and pondering what you discover there? If yes, you will probably enjoy this book. 2) Are you the type of person who scans the tabloid headlines to see which celebrity is sleeping with some other celebrity, or which celebrity is cheating on his or her spouse, deriving a secret thrill from discovering what nasty things are going on that have absolutely nothing to do with you or your life? If yes, you will probably enjoy this book. 3) Are you the kind of person who needs to know what sorts of body fluids stained which garment so that you can vent your disgust at how others act? If yes, you will probably enjoy this book. 4) Are you the sort of person who thinks it's honest and fair to tell sordid little stories about dead people who can not tell their version of the tale and perhaps challenge the "truth" of the sordid stories? If yes, you will probably enjoy this book.

If, however, you believe the dead should be left in peace, that publicly airing dirty laundry is sad and disgusting, that providing sordid details of events which took place 50 years ago is pointless and demeaning to all involved, that sexual acts between consenting adults is nobody's business but that of those involved, you've got to ask yourself why you would waste even a minute on the sort of tabloid literature which Mimi Alford is asking you to buy.

Ask yourself as well, what purpose does Ms. Alford serve by bringing her teenage virgin's tale to market so long after the fact? Is her purpose simply to tarnish the image of someone who earned much higher esteem in life and history than she has done in the course of her nearly 70 years? Or is her purpose more venal than that? Is she simply trying to secure a payday for her later years by appealing to the significant prurient interests of the American public? And, really, do you want to give any of your support to that?

Did I read the entire book? Absolutely not! And before you self righteous clowns who patrol the reviews get on here to cry and whimper that you can't review the book without reading it, I've read a few excerpts here and there that I could barely stomach. It was neither elevating nor inspiring. Nor was it particularly informative. It was dull, it was sad, it smelled faintly of despair, and it was tawdry. How much of that does one need to be exposed to before saying, "Enough. This is pure trash, garbage."? If you find it so banal, so base and wretched after some dozen or two pages, why subject yourself to more punishment?

I've read a few dozen pages. It stinks. I can't imagine that the other 150 or 175 pages get any better. Read it if you want to. Read it if you like to wallow in other people's dirt. But be forewarned, you'll need a long, hot shower afterward and you won't want to look at yourself in the mirror. You won't like what you see. You'll no doubt feel a lot like Ms. Alford herself.
14 of 34 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars When is a secret really a secret?, February 13, 2012
By The Good Book Lady (Philadelphia) - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
This book - though well-written and captivating - is an embarrasment to Mimi and the American Public. So she had an intimate relationship with JFK. I believe those intimate moments should have been kept a secret. It was not "the secret" that ruined Mimi's first marriage, it was her incredible and overwhelming guilt over the affair. She should not have told her fiance in fact, she should not have even married him. After JFK was killed she should have gone straight to therapy! It sounds as though she has convinced herself she is well now - by virtue of her current marriage. She is also using this book as therapy and we - who bought it - are all party to this charade. While I do not condone JFK's actions with Mimi or any other woman outside his marriage, what I do know is that she has not been loyal to JFK's love for her nor loyal to his memory. She said after the first time, she not only knew what she was doing but, she accepted and wanted his intimacy so, she was the other dancer in the dance. JFK would not have expected nor wanted her to "tell all" about the inner workings of the White House, no matter how sordid the situation, that was then. We can argue that she might or might not have been old enough to play adult games when she was an Intern but, what is her excuse now? I guarantee this book will not clear her conscience nor relieve her guilt, and the money she makes on the sale of the books and the interviews will only make her life worse.
10 of 22 people found the following review helpful:
2.0 out of 5 stars Yes And No, February 10, 2012
By jovi - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Once upon a Secret (Kindle Edition)
Like some others, I read this book in one sitting. Why? I got curious and started wondering when this female would start to show some remorse or regret for what she had done. JFK, according to many, was no Saint but this female entered into a prolonged relationship with another woman's husband.

I was left wondering how her children/grandchildren would perceive her now. I am the same age as this female and I cannot imagine how my family would feel if it were I confessing to such sluttish behaviour. If it's all true - and that is a BIG if - she was wrong and he was wrong. Being 19 years old did not stop her from saying "yes". She could have just as easily said "no".

In one way I regret buying the book because I am left feeling quite sad that there really are such people in our midst. I found her to be thoughtless, hard and cold and seeking nothing but the dollars and the notoriety.
17 of 56 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars why 50 years later, February 10, 2012
By AnnetteR - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
I saw the author on many shows this past week. I am exactly the same age as she is and back then things were so much different then they are today. If you had sex back then and not married you were called a tramp. I remember seeing JfK before he was elected president when he came to Philly and how handsome he was, and when I looked at him and said I am to young to vote for you, he said next time. Yes, Kennedy had charm and we all knew what a womanizer he was. It is hard to believe under any circumstances that someone would pawn everything that the president had given her. To me this is quite an unbelievable story.Why trash JFK so many years later, her name was not mentioned in the book which she said she was exposed. So very, very sad.

10 of 40 people found the following review helpful:
2.0 out of 5 stars Shame on Random House, February 10, 2012
By esldonna - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
There are so many wonderful authors that Random House doesn't give a chance, but now they publish this dribble. I found the book to be listed as an autobiography, and yet not a piece of fact can to proved.
Shame on you RH and shame on this woman. Why did either of you publish this nonsensical book?
23 of 68 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Catharsis or Cash - No good can come of this....., February 10, 2012
By World Citizen (Michigan) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Audio CD)
We all have our shameful secrets, our poor choices and youthful mistakes, but doing a "tell all"book is not the way to deal with it. If you must have a catharsis, see a therapist and ignore your husband's cruel and ridiculous demand of silence. You are a grown women, free to deal with your feelings as you wish. Making money on a sordid book does not bring dignity to a sordid past life. Kennedy may have been a disgusting womanizer, but I would much rather hear from the brave and courageous women who refused to become his playthings. Surely as an intern you were looking out for your best interests, perhaps not emotionally, but career wise you must have thought the connection with a president, no matter how unseemly, would somehow benefit you. Live with your poor choices like the rest of us must do and if it is so unbearable, seek professional help.
12 of 85 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm Not Buying it!, February 10, 2012
By Christopher (New Haven, CT) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
I am not buying this book and I am not buying the story! This book is yet ANOTHER attempt by the right to continue to at least to try and make the general public NOT like JFK and to feel good (as they do) about them having blown his head off! We know his affairs are not the reason they killed him in Dallas, it was because they could not pimp him like every president after him - INCLUDING Obama!

If you have not been paying attention over the past ten years, there have been story after story or TV show (The so-called History Channel and Nation Geographic Channel) about JFK having been a drug fiend in the White House, a sex fiend in the White House and an all-around immoral guy. Which president was straight and narrow? JFK was the only modern president who actually cared about the country and governed according to what is best for the general population as opposed to a few extremely greedy business people! Shame on them for hiring this woman to go out here with this BS!

Like Judith Exner who claims to have had a secret lover affair with Lee Harvey Oswald, this woman claims that JFK more or less raped her! Ask yourselves one question - does a president have to rape? These people are not only borderline calling JFK a rapist, but they are also getting into pedophile territory! Like Exner, Alford speaks about a dead man who cannot tell his side of the story and they both position themselves to be in these men's lives when no one else can verify any of their claims except for the deceased! Judith and Mimi can only show us ONE thing - that they were both living at the time of these men and could have run across them. Mimi more likely than not did meet JFK on occasions, but there were much finer women out there that JFK was dealing with. Judith put's herself in New Orleans but that's about it.

What neither of these frauds do is to show us the MEAT! Judith (to my knowledge) has not produced ONE picture of her and Oswald together or a picture of her and anyone else of note in the JFK assassination arena! Mimi may be able to produce a picture of her at the White House and even a pic with her and JFK, but what we have here is similar to CIA operations like we saw with Herman Cain, which was all an act anyway. Those women accused Cain of having had sex with them but no proof was presented, just the accusations. This is all that is needed to plant seeds. We can all accuse the dead of having done anything since no one can prove it - not even the accuser.

This book, like many TV shows, articles etc., are just smear campaigns to make the general public dislike JFK so that we can feel better that he was taken out in Dallas instead of still wanting to get at the treasonous forces that killed him and run this country with endless wars today!
15 of 69 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars It should have been kept secret!, February 10, 2012
By alex (Canada) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
By telling her story with JFK, she certainly din't think twice about Caroline Kennedy and her children. And at the time, she certainly din't think twice about Jackie and the children either, and her own reputation for that matter. Why upsetting a whole country fifty years after with that disturbing and depressing story.
11 of 122 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this garbage, February 9, 2012
By Cort - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
I have not read the book & wont buy it.I have seen Mimi's interview's & read some excerpts from her book.
I think it is deplorable of her to write such slanderous trash.Everyone involved ,except Mimi,is dead,& can not defend themselves.We have no proof ,other then her word that any of what she said occurred. It is no secret that JFk had affairs(so did LBJ,Clinton,& many other Presidents).President Kennedy was one of the best Presidents we have ever had,yet he was not perfect,no body is.I do not care so much what happened in his personal life,but I do care what kind of president he was,& the decisions that he made that affected us here in America,which were mostly for the good & betterment of the world.

Mimi,you should go to therapy in private,not air your alleged dirty laundry in public,for either monetary gain or for political reasons to besmirch the legacy of JFK.Even if everything you said is true,you could have said no....stop being a victim & get over it!
11 of 103 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars TRASH IS TRASH NO MATTER WHO IS PRESIDENT!!, February 9, 2012
By E. Hamada "ED ESQ., RETIRED UPHOLDER OF THE C... (BOSTON, MA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) This review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Kindle Edition)
I am riven between hating the author and feeling sorry for her. This book is simply unverifiable trash, written after everyone else is dead, except for Bob Dalleck who reported the relationship in 2003 in his bio of JFK. There is only one possible motive for writing this and it's money to cover her dotage. She does not have the self-esteem to see how damaging her revelations are to her, let alone to JFK.

My real problem is how this revelation on NBC affects its new relationship with Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg. Either she didn't know about it when she signed on with the same program, Rock Center, or she wasn't told it was in the works. I hope she immediately disassociates herself from NBC. If she has broadcast talents, there are 4 other networks to whom she could apply. And as for Brian Williams, who I watched regularly,I will never watch him again. He claims to be managing editor of the nightly news and of Rock Center, and as such, he knew what was coming down. I cannot imagine he told her and she stayed anyway. The book, like the TV show, are not worth the time it takes to read or listen. The dictionary makes more interesting reading.
This is just trash, masked by a hard cover and a woman without a brain.
21 of 109 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars Balderdash, February 9, 2012
By Katherine Page - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
I think Ms. Alford read and enjoyed "The Story of O". Additionally, I do understand and acknowledge that Mr. Kennedy was a womanizer, HOWEVER, I have great difficulty believing that after THREE days as an intern in the White House, this woman loses her virginity to the PRESIDENT. I, too, lived during that time being near the same age as Ms. Alford, and I also remember where women were on the food chain at that time, but I do find it extremely difficult to understand how, even during those times, and at her young age, that she could have been that naive and willing to participate in such utter crap. Perhaps it was the glitz and power trip of the whole thing, I don't know. It's interesting, too, that anyone who could corroborate any of this is no longer living.
24 of 137 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars A money grabbing attempt to do some dirty laundry...., February 9, 2012
By Zarah (NW Georgia) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
We all make bad decisions when we are young, to amplify those by writing a book about them near the end of our lives when children and grandchildren on both sides and a National icon are involved is inexcusable.

Ms. Alford - the New Jersey aristocrat - has no self esteem, then or now, and the only thing that seems to function about her head is her mouth.

I hope there were no political reasons involved, but being the subservient female she is, there well may be.

Posted later:

Since many people asked if I had actually read the book I thought I would come clean: I DID NOT and I WILL NOT.

I read about the book and the author in several publications and really looked forward to the interview on NBC. I could not imagine why a woman of my age would dredge up fifty year old memories that do not reflect well on her and certainly damage the memory we have of President Kennedy, and put them together in a book to sell.

I found her presentation on NBC to be scripted, her emotions to be flat and some of the situations she described appeared to have been copied out of cheap novels. She was not witty and everything she said appeared to be fake or contrived.

Nothing she claims can be verified. I doubt that Kennedy, a fun loving and sophisticated man, would carry on for 18 months with a dull, humorless, immature female and that a girl that lived such a "sheltered" life, as she claims, could keep that affair from her family and her classmates. If she did she was a highly qualified liar.

Also, I don't think Mrs. Porter produced girls as gullible as Mimi claims to have been.
27 of 124 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars A Fairy Tale, February 9, 2012
By ronaldskritter - See all my reviewsThis review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
Once upon a Secret is allusive to Once upon a time the common opening of fairy tales.
The author apparently had no conscience nor independence if JFK treated her as a mistress.
'Mimi' also has no self-esteem -- then or now.
She 'services' others as President Kennedy watches -- sounds more like a minx than a virgin.
She writes now to 'free' herself of the secret; she's cold and a phony and I regret buying
the book because I feel indirectly I was helping pay for a cushy old age for a celebrity mistress.
Maybe she'll do a fold-out eventually for AARP magazine...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fact-Checking Mimi Alford

In Mimi Alford's 2012 book "Once Upon A Secret", the inside flap jacket, as well as pages 3-5, not to mention press interviews she has given, gives the distinct and quite erroneous impression that Mimi's original last name---Beardsley--- was heretofore unknown, although acknowledging that she was mentioned in Robert Dallek's 2003 masterpiece "JFK: An Unfinished Life", wherein historian Dallek quotes from Barbara Gamarekian's 1964 JFK Library oral history, then recently released. Gamarekian was the one who claimed not to remember Mimi's last name at that time, not Dallek. For her part, Alford states on page 5 of her book: "Dallek's mention of an UNNAMED "White House intern" lit a fire at the New York Daily News (emphasis added)."

However, Dallek's book, a #1 national best seller, not only DOES indeed note Mimi's then-last name of Beardsley, on page 476 and the index on page 813, but she is PICTURED in Dallek's book with a caption "Mimi Beardsley, intern in the White House", in the second set of unpaginated photographs between pages 502 and 503 (with the photo acknowledgement going to CNN) [all references are to the 2004 Trade Paperback edition-YOU WOULD THINK SOMEONE AT RANDOM HOUSE WOULD HAVE NOTED THE MASS PAPERBACK/KINDLE/ONLINE UPDATE]! In fact, Alford's book purposely OMITS the relevant Dallek passage (s) in question: on page 4 of her own book (quoting word for word from pages 475-476 of Dallek's work), she quotes a verbatim passage from the historian's seminal work that began on page 475 with "Kennedy's womanizing" and ended on page 476 with "she couldn't type." Alford's use of Dallek's quote intentionally omits her name! For his part, Dallek wrote: "...and MIMI BEARDSLEY, a "tall, slender, beautiful: nineteen-year-old college sophomore and White House intern... (emphasis added). Again, not only does Alford intentionally omit this specific identification of her, which could not have been an accident, she says Dallek referred to her as an "unnamed" White House intern (page 5 of her book) and makes great play of the fact that Gamarekian, as previously mentioned, could not remember her last name back in 1964...but she could and did later on, as Dallek interviewed Gamarekian on 4/19/2001 (see page 779 of Dallek's book, Notes section)!
But the point is: Dallek DID mention her last name---on three different pages, including a captioned photograph. Remember, it is Alford who purposely omits the mention of her name "Mimi Beardsley" from an otherwise word-for-word verbatim quote from Dallek---what was the motive for that omission? Yes, we know she became Mimi Fahnestock (page 6) and, later, Mimi Alford (page 9), but she was "found out" as Mimi Beardsley eleven years before publication of her own book (2001 Gamarekian interview with Dallek; 9 full years before via Dallek's published book). In addition, any good investigative reporter worth his or her own salt could find out a woman's current last name with the starting point of having the woman's maiden name. Nevertheless, Dallek HAD that information, publicized it, and Alford makes great stock out of the erroneous "fact" that her then-last name was not known when Dallek's huge best seller came out.

And, if that wasn't enough, Alford mentions being contacted by and politely turning down the author Sally Bedell Smith (page 6): "She honored my request. My secret was safe." However, like Dallek, Smith ALSO mentioned her in her own massive New York Times best-selling book from 2004 entitled "Grace & Power: The Private World Of The Kennedy White House", with as yet ANOTHER captioned photo, as well (photo: unpaginated first photo between pages 290 and 291), as well as with credit on NINE formal pages (287, 330, 334-335, 382-383, 385, 416, and the index on page 584), not to mention sourcing a MARION BEARDSLEY FAHNESTOCK interview on the following "Source Notes" pages: 537 and 561!

What does that say about one's credibility? You decide. Those are the facts. Depending on your love or hate for the book, spin them any way you want.

Yes, I have actually read the entire book now; every word. Verdict: it is good if you like this type of sordid tale; well written, as well. Again, my misgivings go to the credibility factor as outlined above.

Greg Parker says:
February 14, 2012 at 8:02 pm (Edit)
Vince, you say “any good investigative reporter worth his or her own salt could find out a woman’s current last name with the starting point of having the woman’s maiden name. Nevertheless, Dallek HAD that information, publicized it”. Given that Dallek could have easily tracked her down to request an interview, I can’t fathom your decision to laud him and his book.

It is what a good historian should have done.

Instead, his decision to publish as fact, that which Barbara Gamarekian clearly only delineated as second or third hand gossip, is all the more unconscionable.

Kirk Stricker says:
February 14, 2012 at 8:26 pm (Edit)
Hello Vince, I love your work and support you enthusiastically. I’ve not read Ms. Alford’s book and have no interest in nor intention of reading it. I think her motives and veracity ought to come under close scrutiny. However, I have a 2003 edition of Robt. Dallek’s book, “An Unfinished Life”, and in my edition the photo you mentioned is not present, the quote you cited beginning on pg. 475 and continuing to 476 mentions a “tall, slender, beautiful, etc.” but does not mention her by name, and the index on pg. 813 goes from an entry for “Bay of Pigs” to “Beck,Dave” and has no citation for “Beardsley” of any kind. I’m confused. Help. Thank you.

vincepalamara says:
February 14, 2012 at 8:30 pm (Edit)
oh! ok: I have the 2004 Trade Paperback edition. Still predates Alford by many a year. Thanks for that clarification!

vincepalamara says:
February 14, 2012 at 8:51 pm (Edit)
also: if you go to the Amazon site, pull up Dallek’s book, then search “Look Inside”, you will see the Beardsley references. To put it another way: if we can somehow let Alford off the hook for her ignorance regarding the changes from the hardcover to the trade paperback (and, now, kindle) made the next year, as well as even the 2004 Smith book, it is VERY hard to give a huge publishing company like Random House the benefit of the doubt. Fact checking is crucial, especially with such a controversial subject sure to be (as it is) a massive best-seller reaching the public and influencing people

vincepalamara says:
February 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm (Edit)
(and Sally Bedell Smith’s book is ALSO a Random House venture!)

vincepalamara says:
February 14, 2012 at 8:27 pm (Edit)
VMP [from our Facebook posts/ comments/ replies]-Fair enough; I respect your opinion/ perspective. That said, I am amazed that Alford would pull such a stunt and that no one discovered the ruse until now (my blog). Then again, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised LOL
Greg- “Any thoughts on why she did it?”
VMP- Yes: to make her story more of an “exclusive” and worth publishing.The fact that Gamarekian’s oral history, dated 1964, was sealed until 2003 adds to her credibility. Coupled with the “Fiddle” and “Faddle” ‘affairs’, it seems that there is merit to Alford’s story, albeit NOT the gorey details; they remain and always will be unconfirmed.
Greg- “Exactly”
VMP-(this is all separate from the MERITS of having actually written a book in the first place). JFK had affairs; big deal. Old news. Real or imagined, he allegedly had affairs with Exner(?), Monroe (?), Fiddle, Faddle, etc. Presidents Harding, FDR, Ike, and Clinton also had affairs. I think JFK getting his head blown off “squares his …account”, so to speak. Why the need to further sully his memory is the real question—perhaps to vanquish the enthusiasm for the upcoming 50th anniversary a la Posner, Bugliosi, and Thomas (not-to-be-confused-with-Richard) Reeves before her?
Greg-”Gamarekian’s oral history – as I understand it – was not sealed in entirety – only that part dealing with Mimi – and then only at Gamarekian’s own request. If I have that right, I assume she made that request due to having misgivings about passing on unsubstantiated gossip.”

Dan Armstrong says:
February 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm (Edit)
Great post, Vince! Also, the 5/13/2003 website The Smoking Guns “smoked” her out years before her book: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/jfk-had-intern-too

vincepalamara says:
February 14, 2012 at 10:41 pm (Edit)
Thanks! While we can “forgive” Alford somewhat for not knowing about the trade paperback update with Dallek, this 2003 website has been there for almost 9 years and, most damning of all, on the very same publishing house as her book, Sally Bedell Smith, the author she claims she did not cooperate with, sources an interview withAlford (Beardsley-Fahnestock), has a captioned photo of her, and devotes quite a few pages to her. Like Dallek’s book, Smith’s 2004 work was a major best-seller. Random House needed to perform better fact-checking

Tracie Donato says:
February 14, 2012 at 10:52 pm (Edit)
Excellnt information! You are on more solid ground with the Bedell Smith book than Dallek’s, although someone should have informed Mimi that Dallek’s book mentioned her in the paperback edition-it’s on my kindle and, as you said, on the Amazon website. Random House seems guilty of trying to make her book more of an exclusive than it really is.

Kirk Stricker says:
February 15, 2012 at 12:00 am (Edit)
Excellent work, as usual, Vince. Thank you for the swift clarification and update. While still reeling a bit from this most recent chapter in the ongoing second assassination of JFK (this time his memory and image), I am grateful that the work you’ve done to expose Mimi Alford’s distortion of facts now stands on solid ground. Thanks again.

vincepalamara says:
February 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm (Edit)
Thanks! And another thing: Mimi Alford notes on page 4 that she refused to buy any JFK books, merely being satisifed to read snippets of books at bookstores to see if they talked about her, yet she twice quotes, verbatim, from Ted Sorenson’s 2009 book “Counselor”, as well as a Washingtonian magazine article about Pierre Salinger, not to mention other bits and bobs from other Kennedy-worthy items, betraying a knowledge of details she shouldn’t, especially if she really sought to, by and large, avoid Kennedy books as she stated (and that, of course, doesn’t include Dallek’s updated paperback or Smith’s 2004 work that quotes FROM AN INTERVIEW she gave!)

Monday, February 13, 2012

JFK mistress gets no love from her tale

JFK mistress gets no love from her tale
By Margery Eagan
Sunday, February 12, 2012 -
Boston Herald Columnist

Maybe America has lived through so many political sex scandals, one more fails to grab us. Mimi Alford, the latest JFK mistress to tell all, drew only 5 million viewers to her debut interview Wednesday with NBC’s Meredith Vieira. Meanwhile, 19 million tuned into “American Idol” that night and 70 million watched Barbara Walters depose Monica Lewinsky in 1999.

Or maybe we’re not as titillated by a grandmother’s confession, no matter how gorgeous Mimi Alford remains at 69.

But clearly the double standard remains. There’s one for the powerful, one for the powerless; one for the middle-aged politician, another for the teenage intern or, in Lewinsky’s case, the 22-year-old. No new revelation about the sordid womanizing of both Clinton and Kennedy seems to hurt these men’s legacies. Clinton is the most popular Democrat alive today. Lewinsky, 38, lives with struggle and ridicule. NBC on Wednesday brought out historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to assure viewers that Alford’s “Once Upon A Secret” has not sullied Camelot, though she is even more sympathetic than Lewinsky.

Alford arrived at the White House a 19-year-old virgin kissed just once — in eighth grade. In pictures taken then, she looks like a baby-faced middle-schooler in modest cardigan sweaters and pearls. She writes that JFK got her tipsy, escorted her into a White House bedroom and quickly had sex with her. Worse, he allegedly later asked her to perform sex acts on his aide Dave Powers and his brother Ted. This is uncorroborated, but Vieira, a veteran journalist, described Alford as “credible” and her name has been known by Kennedy biographers, none of whom she talked to.

Still, the trashing of Alford is well under way. It was so uncomfortable watching Barbara Walters go after her on “The View,” particularly since Walters has written an autobiography revealing her affair with a married U.S. senator of Massachusetts, Ed Brooke. And Walters was no teenager at the time but the co-host of “Today” and well into her 30s.

All but pummeled by Walters, Alford said she wrote her story now both because she did not want some other biographer to tell it for her, perhaps erroneously; and because her secret had haunted her, taking a terrible toll on her marriage, which failed, and her psyche.

Alford, while not blaming Kennedy, tries to explain how easily she fell for the most powerful man on earth. She tells of limousines fetching her at Wheaton College, of parties at Bing Crosby’s, of the thrill of being allowed so close to this glamorous world. “Being part of it — that was huge, for me,” she said. “I was special; I was taken in. When I think about it, I go back to feeling sort of — chosen ...” Then, “I’m in the bedroom, he’s so handsome, I’m 19, and I’ve had two daiquiris. ... Do I know one person who would have done differently?”

My bet: Many would do just what she did, then pay an awful price. But Clinton and Kennedy did not, and won’t, pay a price anywhere near so dear for their many, many, many transgressions
Posted at 12:14 PM ET, 02/09/2012
JFK Mistress Mimi Alford: Do you care?
By Michael Katz

(Mimi Alford in January 1963 (Courtesy of Mimi Alford)) The details of Mimi Alford’s affair with President John F. Kennedy continue to trickle out from her new book and into the news cycle.

The latest salacious tidbit from the former White House intern’s memoir is that JFK once asked her to “take care of my baby brother” Ted.

There was also the revelation that she was with the president on the final night of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

With more sordid tales sure to come, how interested are you in this story?

[More: Why it’s relevant | Why she did it | Affairs still political killer?]

Vote in our reader poll after the jump and explain yourself in the comments.

Your results
Do you care about White House intern Mimi Alford's affair with JFK?
No 62%
Yes 38%
Washington Post


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars When is a secret really a secret?, February 13, 2012
By The Good Book Lady (Philadelphia) - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath (Hardcover)
This book - though well-written and captivating - is an embarrasment to Mimi and the American Public. So she had an intimate relationship with JFK. I believe those intimate moments should have been kept a secret. It was not "the secret" that ruined Mimi's first marriage, it was her incredible and overwhelming guilt over the affair. She should not have told her fiance in fact, she should not have even married him. After JFK was killed she should have gone straight to therapy! It sounds as though she has convinced herself she is well now - by virtue of her current marriage. She is also using this book as therapy and we - who bought it - are all party to this charade. While I do not condone JFK's actions with Mimi or any other woman outside his marriage, what I do know is that she has not been loyal to JFK's love for her nor loyal to his memory. She said after the first time, she not only knew what she was doing but, she accepted and wanted his intimacy so, she was the other dancer in the dance. JFK would not have expected nor wanted her to "tell all" about the inner workings of the White House, no matter how sordid the situation, that was then. We can argue that she might or might not have been old enough to play adult games when she was an Intern but, what is her excuse now? I guarantee this book will not clear her conscience nor relieve her guilt, and the money she makes on the sale of the books and the interviews will only make her life worse.

Reader's scathing comments about Alford

Why now? Good grief; leave him to RIP. It's been nearly 49 years since JFK's death, but ne'er-do-well folks, such as this aide, refuse to let him lie in peace, or offer his remaining family any shred of dignity.

Money, the root of all evil, runs rampant once again! I, for one, will not buy her book, and refuse to allow this 'dead-in-the-water' story, cloud my mind. Our beloved Mr. Kennedy was human, and he suffered the same frailties as any person throughout history. While I don't condone extramarital affairs, this appears to have been a mutual consent tryst, so, to me, becomes a non-issue. It's also a non-story, and this senior citizen is merely trying to capture her youth. She's pathetic and a sore loser.

Well it`s one thing to have an affair - alot of people do that..... It`s quite another thing to be asked to blow his buddy while he watches and than asked again to do his brother....

She might have been 19 but she was a doing the w hore thing .....

So getting it off her chest now --- just makes them both look bad....

JFK intern recounts long-ago affair in new book

JFK intern recounts long-ago affair in new book
By KAREN MATTHEWS | Associated Press 2/13/12

NEW YORK (AP) — Mimi Alford was terrified in 1998 when the Monica Lewinsky scandal turned the word "intern" into a dirty joke, exposing an affair with a president. Her decades-old secret about her trysts with John F. Kennedy was still safe then.

Outed in a 2003 biography and a New York newspaper account, Alford has learned to tell her story and not be ashamed of it — from the moment she said Kennedy seduced her on her fourth day working at the White House until the affair ended shortly before his death.

In "Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and its Aftermath," published last week by Random House, she writes of her first encounter as a naïve teenager, her "varied and fun" sex life with Kennedy, whom she always called Mr. President.

The Rumson, N.J., native was 19 and had no sexual experience when she first went to bed with Kennedy in his wife, Jacqueline's, bedroom. It was June 1962.

"Short of screaming," she writes, "I doubt I could have done anything to thwart his intentions."

Nor did she want to thwart his intentions.

"I wouldn't describe what happened that night as making love," she writes. "But I wouldn't call it nonconsensual, either." Addressing people who have questioned the encounter, she said: "I don't consider it was rape. I have never considered it rape because I was willing."

The relationship continued, even after Alford had become engaged while attending college in suburban Boston, until Kennedy's 1963 assassination, she wrote.

The two raced rubber ducks in the bathtub; they had multiple sexual encounters, though he never kissed her; when he called her at her college dorm, he would use the code name Michael Carter, she wrote.

Her account seems "quite credible," said Robert Dallek, whose Kennedy biography made a passing reference to a college sophomore who was a favorite of the president's.

"This is how he operated," Dallek said. "He was a compulsive womanizer."

A lawyer for the Kennedy family did not respond to requests for comment over the weekend.

Writing the book was liberating, Alford said in an interview last week in her publisher's midtown Manhattan offices. Now 68, Alford was slim and elegant in a gray knit dress, gray pageboy hairstyle and pearl earrings.

She was Marion "Mimi" Beardsley when she arrived at the White House press office the summer after her freshman year at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, then an all-girls school.

The affair began during her summer internship and continued when she returned to Wheaton in the fall, she wrote. It continued while she dated and until a few months after her engagement to Tony Fahnestock, a senior at Williams. She was deep into wedding preparations when Kennedy was shot.

Overcome with grief, she confessed the affair to her fiancé. He told her never to breathe a word of it. She promised, fearful that the only alternative was to break off the engagement, and she largely kept the promise, telling only a trusted few. It took years for her to see the connection between her silence about the relationship and "the emotional shutting down" that had blighted much of her life.

"I needed to look at the secret and then look at the impact of having kept the secret for so long," she said.

Mimi and Tony Fahnestock divorced in 1991 and he died in 1993. Alford married again in 2005, to Dick Alford. Her two daughters from her marriage to Fahnestock are in their 40s, are mothers themselves and have supported her decision to write of her experience, she said.

The book took several years and multiple drafts. Alford supplemented her memory with research at the Kennedy Library, where she found her name on passenger logs from plane trips with Kennedy's entourage.

The story she tells is not always flattering to Kennedy or to Alford herself.

She felt no guilt, she wrote, with regard to the first lady, whom she never met.

"I do now," she said.

But at the time, "it wasn't as if I was trying to replace her or that the president was trying to replace her. I think I just went along. And so I didn't feel guilty. It's kind of embarrassing to say that."

Alford knows that readers may judge her harshly; "it doesn't frighten me," she said.

She describes Kennedy as "a kind and thoughtful man."
And then, she tells stories of what she calls his darker side.

She says Kennedy once asked her to "take care of" his aide Dave Powers, who had served as the go-between facilitating the affair; she performed oral sex on Powers while Kennedy watched. The president later apologized to both of them.

On another occasion, she wrote, he asked her to do the same for his brother Teddy. She refused.

Then there was a party with a "fast Hollywood crowd" at Bing Crosby's house in Palm Springs, Calif., that she attended with the president. A guest offered yellow pills that she believed were poppers, or amyl nitrate, a drug often used to enhance sexual pleasure.

Kennedy asked her if she wanted to try one and she said no, but she said he popped the capsule and held it under her nose anyway.

"Within minutes of inhaling the powder, my heart started racing and my hands began to tremble," she writes. "This was a new sensation, and it frightened me. I panicked and ran crying from the room, praying that it would end soon."

Alford debated whether to share episodes like this, taking them out of the book and putting them back in. If she had excluded them, she said, "it would have felt like I was not telling the whole story."

When the affair with Kennedy was revealed in 2003 — the Daily News of New York published her name — Alford spent a few days holed up in her apartment with the media camped outside. Then they left and she started going to work and going grocery shopping again.

After interviews to promote "Once Upon a Secret," she expects to return to her quiet life once more.

"It's sort of like closing a chapter on that 18 months," she said, "and closing a chapter on keeping secrets."


This comment from a reader sums up Mimi Alford's book well

This comment from a reader sums up Mimi Alford's book well

"It really won't shock many readers coming at this late date when JFK's sexual adventures are well known. And it includes a lot of great stuff about the hidden, secret personality of JFK. This is one of the best reads to be published so far this year. And it won't cause JFK's fans to lose their respect for President Kennedy."

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chris Matthews Explains JFK’s Affairs: He Was Able To ‘Understand People’s Feelings And Not Be Moved’

Chris Matthews Explains JFK’s Affairs: He Was Able To ‘Understand People’s Feelings And Not Be Moved’
by Alex Alvarez | 9:54 am, February 10th, 2012
On Friday, the folks at Morning Joe invited Chris Matthews — who recently published Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, a book about (you guessed it!) John F. Kennedy — to the show to discuss Mimi Alford, a former White House intern who recently came forward with the story of her affair with the former President.
Joe Scarborough, for one, isn’t exactly shocked by the news that Kennedy engaged in an affair with a young press intern. He brought up two other interns — named “Fiddle and Faddle” by the secret service — and Joe Kennedy‘s rumored interest in his son’s dates.
Matthews called JFK’s actions “indefensible” and gave us some insight into what Kennedy was like as a person:
Part of it that’s indefensible is his tone of detachment, his ability to understand the feelings of those around him, and in fact track them and manipulate them, whether it’s Curtis LeMay or it’s his wife. I mean, his amazing ability to understand people’s feelings and not be moved by them at all. I think the word that’s been used recently is “heedless.” Cold detachment.
And the other part of it is the compartmentalization of his life where he could have what seems to be — if you’ve listened to all these tapes that have come out — a full marriage. Discussions about emotions and life, the normal things that most married couples think of as marriage, that sharing of emotions and life. And, yet, having these other compartments with these other women at the same time. He was able to keep them sealed off from one another in a way that was almost inhuman.
At the end of the segment, Matthews implored viewers to buy his book instead of Alford’s.


Woman reveals ‘dark side’ of JFK affair Advertise | AdChoices>>> back now at 8:09 with the woman who claims she had an affair with president john f. kennedy during her time as a white house intern. we'll talk to mimi alford exclusively in just a moment. but first, her story. for mimi alford , then mimi beardsley, it was a secret that started in the summer of 1962 rks when the 19-year-old debutante from a prominent new jersey family began what she says was an 18-month affair with president john f. kennedy . her secret was first revealed in 2003 , when historian, robert dallek wrote in his biography of jfk ha a tall, slender, beautiful white house intern was rumored to be among the president's many paramours. at the time, mimi wasn't offering details. she released a short statement confirming the affair, and then disappeared. now in a tell-all book, "once upon a secret," she reveals explicit details about her alleged affair with jfk, which include close encounters in this white house swimming pool , losing her virginity to the president in jackie kennedy 's bedroom. sleep-overs at the white house and trips with the 35th president. mimi alford , good morning to you. and welcome. thanks for being here.

>> thanks for having me.

>> watching the interviews that meredith vieira did with you last night. you watched it as well --

>> i did.

>> i was struck by how you are still sad after 50 years. by all that's happened. what makes you most sad?

>> what really makes me most sad is not having been able to talk. not having been able to talk about what i was part of, what had happened to me. and that's what makes me the saddest.

>> you write --

>> and also that you know, going back and from hindsight, looking back as that relationship i had with president kennedy was, was so imbalanced. though there were lots of positive things about it for me. it was also imbalanced. so it wasn't, it didn't help me learn how to have a real relationship with a man.

>> so you're sad in part for that 19-year-old, happy, joyful, fun-to-be around girl, who suddenly lost her innocence?

>> yes. but she also had fun. i also had fun. so i'm sad for that, that she -- but i had a good time. i was there.

>> you write that for years afterwards, you were quote emotionally crippled. and you were struggling to overcome the consequences of that relationship. do you think we would ever be sitting here if you had not been outed in 2003 ?

>> i can't say for sure. but i don't think so. because so many things would have been different in my life, and what's given me the confidence to tell my story and to talk about my story now, is that i have a life and a relationship that has given me space to be myself. all of me. and i think that that's, that's what changed.

>> and so you tell the story now of this intern who on her fourth day as an intern at the white house , was invited to join the president, essentially, in a swimming pool . and then later on, being led then to private quarters, and then, invited by the president on a tour to mrs. kennedy 's bedroom. what happened in that bedroom, mimi ?

>> well the president had invited me to take a tour of the white house . of the upstairs of the white house . and i followed along behind him. and as i say in my book, really feeling as if i was being pulled by a magnet. and in the last room that we went into, was the bedroom. i learned that it was mrs. kennedy 's bedroom. and the president came very close to me and put his hands on my shoulders. and guided me down to the edge of the bed. and i lost my virginity right there. i feel that i was, it wasn't something that i had planned. and certainly not something that i was expecting to have happen. on the other hand, i think i allowed it to happen.

>> you didn't say no?

>> i didn't say no.

>> but at 19 years old, as you were in this situation, that you didn't expect, what did you think was happening to you?

>> i'm not sure i knew what was going to happen. and i think i was taken by surprise. and i think that i felt -- if i can recall my feelings from that moment, it would have been that it was almost what i was supposed to be doing. it's very odd to feel that way. but it was, i didn't, i didn't say no. and i didn't, i didn't feel like i was really being forced.

>> but you were definitely in a state of shock afterward?

>> i think i must have been, yes.

>> were you in a state of shock , do you think, during?

>> no. i don't think so.

>> you didn't tell your parents. you went home.

>> yes.

>> you didn't want to be around anyone. you took a shower.

>> well i went home, no the to my parents' home, but to where i was living in georgetown. and my roommate there, she wasn't home. and i did, i took a shower and i just tried to put my mind around what had happened. and i really, i didn't call my parents.

>> why not? why didn't you call your parents and tell them what had happened?

>> i don't know. i think it was an era when we really, when i didn't really have that kind of a relationship with my parents, that i would have told them. and that makes me sad, and i regret that today. i regret that my parents don't know. maybe not even at that moment, if i hadn't told them. but later on, because they would have known more about me.

>> but did you feel that they would have comforted you? do you think that would have understood? or do you think when you talk about this being that era, are you thinking that they would have condemned you?

>> i think at the time, i didn't think that. i just thought, this has happened. and i was just trying to understand it myself. so i didn't reach out to them.

>> after that, you were invited to another swim.

>> yes.

>> and there was a pivotal, you call it a pivotal moment.

>> uh-huh.

>> because you were pretty shocked as you write about it in the book, but you said yes.

>> i know.

>> why did you say yes?

>> well, you have to understand what it was like to be in the white house at that time. and this is president kennedy . and this was, i was being included in a small group of people that knew him. it was very, it was almost like being swept away.

>> but at the same time, you say you always called him mr. president. you didn't call him jack.

>> always mr. president.

>> there was always a separation. he was an older man, you were 19.

>> right.

>> you didn't have conversations about world events.

>> no.

>> he never kissed you?

>> that is right. the relationship was very imbalanced. i was 19, he was 45. but i accepted that imbalance. because i think i felt very special from having been included.

>> do you believe that if your story is true, do you believe that president john f. kennedy abused his power in having a relationship with a 19-year-old intern?

>> you know, as i've said before, he was extremely powerful. he was very alluring. he was very, he made you feel, made me feel as if i was the only person in his presence. and if that's an abuse of power, yes. but i didn't ever feel abused.

>> did you feel that you were in some ways being abusive, in the sense that he was married? did you think about mrs. kennedy ?

>> no.

>> were you aware, i'm having an affair with the president of the united states , who is married?

>> i hate to admit today, that i didn't feel guilty. but i was 19 years old. and i was very young. and i was being included in something so glamorous and special, that i didn't feel guilty. and today, i regret that.

>> do you feel guilty today?

>> i feel guilty about not having felt guilty about mrs. kennedy , yes.

>> what's also surprising is that at some point, you started to spend the night at, and you would actually walk past some of the president's i guess secret service agents on the way back downstairs to go back to work where you were an intern. how many people knew about this mimi ?

>> i don't know how many people knew. but certainly secret service that were there at the elevator on the second floor would have known. the thing that's so amazing to me is that those, that all felt very natural. and that's what's so interesting to me. looking back. i didn't feel like i was really hiding. i felt like it was natural.

>> so if what you're saying is true, it begs the question -- how was the president able to live in this kind of way? with a wife and children being present, being the united states and having as you put it, a relationship with a 19-year-old? there's something that mrs. kennedy said in some oral history just a few months after her husband's death. that it's interesting to listen to as we talk about this. let's take a listen to what she had to say.

>> he really kept his life in compartments, and the wonderful thing is that everyone in every one of those compartments was ready to die for him.

>> you wrote that the president's compartmentalizing allowed him to effectively segregate people in all areas of his life.

>> right. well that's how i felt and i also had read that. i hadn't heard mrs. kennedy 's tapes. but i had read that in ted sorenson 's book. a lot of people felt he compartmentalized. was good at that. and i think that's exactly what he did.

>> an example of that would be what you write about the president, as he was dealing with the cuban missile crisis , having you upstairs, in his bedroom.

>> yeah.

>> while he was negotiating a standoff with khrushchev. describe that time?

>> it's really ludicrous that i was there. i realized that today. but i wanted to be there. and obviously the president wanted me there, too. and i was there.

>> you also write about some very tough stuff that meredith also asked you about last night. let me ask you about, you say in the book, that the president encouraged you to try a drug at a party at bing crosby 's house. that the president emotionally abused you by suggesting that you sexually service another person, and that at one point you thought you were pregnant and you called the president. and what was his reaction?

>> it was to get help for me, to take care of that. but you know my, i included these dark, this dark side and these dark memories i have of the president in my book. because first, i had them in. then i would take them out, and then i would put them back in and take them out. and i really felt that i needed to do that. i needed to include them, because my book is about being honest. and i -- if i had kept all of that out, it would have been just another layer of a secret, really.

>> at the same time, mimi , you know that all the principles who principals are not around to defend themselves. what do you say to people who say look, you're profiting off a story. you're making money.

>> i know.

>> off of this. what do you say to that?

>> i wrote this book because of the secret that i held. and that was the focus of my book. there's no way i could have separated the kennedy 's name from the book. because that's part of the story. and that's how i feel. people will have their judgments. and they're entitled to them.

>> what about caroline, who is still alive? she's going to have to deal at some point with the fact of this. did you think about, as you talk about, unburdening yourself? the idea that you burdened other people with this?

>> well i don't intentionally burden someone else. i'm telling my story. and that is what i needed to do.

>> any push-back from the kennedy family ? yes or no?

>> no.