(NEW YORK) — Much has been written and said over the years about the active extramarital sexual life of the late President John F. Kennedy. While much has been documented — and much more speculated upon — a new book is raising eyebrows. Mimi Alford goes on the record with her memoir, Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy, which hits bookstores Wednesday.
Alford says she was a 19-year-old White House intern at the time she met JFK, who was then around 44. The president was immediately smitten with the debutante, who bedded the young woman and carried on an 18-month-affair, she says.
Alford, who was Mimi Beardsley at the time, claims she was a virgin when she slept with Kennedy. On her way home from the White House, Alford says, “[I]t kept echoing in my head: I’m not a virgin anymore.”
Always addressing Kennedy as “Mr. President” even during their liaisons, Alford says he would never kiss her on the lips to maintain some distance from her. He also reportedly set up secret liasons in various cities, and once asked Beardsley to service his “little brother,” former Senator Teddy Kennedy. Beardsley reportedly refused, though she claims she performed oral sex on one of Kennedy’s closest confidates at the president’s direction — while the former Commander in Chief watched.
Alford maintains that Kennedy confided in her during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis when the world was on the brink of destruction, telling the intern he’d “rather my children red than dead,” a suggestion that he’d prefer a system under communism than losing his family.
Perhaps most haunting are Kennedy’s last words to Alford shortly before he went on his ill-fated trip to Dallas in November 1963, when the president told the intern he would call her when he returned, even though her knew Alford was getting married.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Julia Horowitz, CNN
Eliza Mackintosh, CNN