The CIA Acted As The Jordanian King’s Personal Matchmaker During The Kennedy Years

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Jack Crowe Political Reporter
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The CIA under former President John F. Kennedy went to great lengths to secure “female companionship” for Jordan’s King Hussein during his diplomatic visits to the United States, according to recently declassified documents related to the assassination of JFK.

The CIA tapped private investigator Robert Maheu, a former FBI agent, to use his Hollywood connections to set up a date for Hussein with actress Susan Cabot during his April 1959 trip to Los Angeles, according to a CIA memo released Dec. 15, and first reported by USA Today.

The memo does not mention Hussein specifically, referencing only a “head of state”, but the timeline corresponds to Hussein’s visit.

“The foreign official was especially desirous of female companionship during his Los Angeles visit and it was requested that appropriate arrangements be made through a controlled source of the [CIA’s] Office [of Security] in order to assure a satisfied visit,” the memo reads.

Hussein and Cabot initially met at a party hosted by wealthy California oil magnate and Democratic donor Edwin Pauley, for whom UCLA’s basketball arena is named, according to an April, 1959 story in the Los Angeles Times.

Having apparently hit it off, the pair rendezvoused again when Hussein visited New York. Their relationship caught the attention of journalists, who speculated about the implications of Cabot’s Jewish faith for her relationship with the Muslim king.

Cabot later gave birth to a son, Timothy Scott Roman who was born a dwarf and beat her to death in 1986. It is not entirely clear that Hussein fathered Roman, but while on trial for the beating Roman’s defense attorney introduced evidence that appeared to show a child support payment from the king.

Cabot “received a regular sum of $1,500 a month from the Keeper of the King’s Purse, Amman, Jordan. There is written indication in the handwriting of Susan Roman this money is from a trust. … For better or worse, it looks like child support,” the attorney wrote.

Roman was convicted of an involuntary manslaughter.

The so-called Maheu memo was just one part of the more than 35,500 documents related to JFK’s assassination that were released in compliance with a 1992 law that established the deadline for their confidential status. Much of the memo is related to Maheu’s role in orchestrating an assassination plot on Cuban strongman Fidel Castro, which ultimately never came to fruition.


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Jack Crowe