Former President John F. Kennedy’s wife Jackie knew about his affair with movie icon Marilyn Monroe and even spoke with Monroe about it on the phone, a new tell-all book that features some of John and Jackie’s closest friends, relatives and associates as on-the-record sources reveals.
The forthcoming book “These Few Precious Days: The Final Year of Jack with Jackie,” by bestselling biographer Christopher Andersen, describes a formal but close marriage tormented by prescription drug abuse and frequent infidelities, including a tryst between the president and Monroe. Excerpts from the book were published in the New York Daily News Sunday.
The book, which provides new details about the routine painkiller injections Kennedy received to treat his wartime injuries, breaks new ground in its portrayal of the president’s love affairs.
“Marilyn, you’ll marry Jack, that’s great. And you’ll move into the White House and you’ll assume the responsibilities of first lady, and I’ll move out and you’ll have all the problems,” Jackie told Monroe after the actress called the White House, according to Kennedy’s late brother-in-law Peter Lawford.
Though Jackie was bothered by her husband’s extramarital activity, she was most concerned about his affair with Monroe, because the threat of scandal and public humiliation seemed likelier in that case than in others, according to friends of the couple.
“Can’t you just see me as First Lady,” Monroe reportedly told her friend Jeanne Carmen, insisting that Kennedy would divorce Jackie and marry her.
The first couple suffered from intimacy issues but saw each other often around the White House and always maintained formality around staffers and other onlookers.
“He would never hold hands in public or put his arm around me — that was naturally just distasteful to him,” Jackie once said.
“He was a politician who wanted to be president and for that he needed a wife. I am absolutely certain they were not in love. At least not at the time,” said Kennedy’s secretary Evelyn Lincoln, according the book.
The book claims the two had sexual compatibility issues.
“He just goes too fast and falls asleep,” Jackie told her psychiatrist, who taught her about foreplay.
Though Jackie feared that she was the reason for her husband’s joyless sexual style, other women actually reported that Kennedy used similarly weak tactics with them.
“He was nice…but he gave off light instead of heat. Sex was something to have done, not to be doing. He wasn’t in it for the cuddling,” a woman who had sex with Kennedy when he was a young congressman previously told Kennedy biographers Peter Collier and David Horowitz.
Andersen’s hardcover book will be released Tuesday.