Journalist Hersh claimed that John had turned the prestigious White House into a Playboy mansion where he kept pictures of his trysts in the form of photographs.
John F Kennedy still remains one of the most respected Presidents of the United States of America and Jacqueline B Kennedy, an adored First Lady. Like most fairytale romances, the iconic couple met by chance and experienced an undeniable spark between them. When they first met at a dinner party hosted by Charles Bartlett in 1952, John was a young, aspiring American Congressman, while Jackie was a writer for the Washington Times-Herald. "My brother really was smitten with her right from the very beginning when he first met her at dinner," JFK's brother Ted Kennedy was quoted as saying in the book America's Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Sarah Bradford. Then a few months after this meeting, the two began courting and by the summer of 1953 they were engaged to be married, reports Honey Nine.
By September 12, the same year, they were married in a religious ceremony in Newport, Rhode Island. Americans were ecstatic about the Kennedys ushering in a new, exuberant spirit with their entry into the White House. They were excited about Jackie, as she was fondly called, who set out to restore art and celebrate American history, culture, and achievement. The couple was incredibly intelligent, educated, and seemed to be an ideal match made in heaven. Unfortunately, the reality of their marriage was far from it. Although it wasn't extensively reported at the time, JFK is believed to have indulged in numerous affairs throughout his ten-year marriage to Jacqueline. "If I don’t have sex every day, I get a headache," the former President would tell anyone who would lend an ear, reports New York Post.
It was journalist Seymour Hersh who portrayed quite an unsettling picture of the assassinated President in his book The Dark Side of Camelot. He regarded JFK as a womanizer who would frequently enlist his Secret Service agents to sneak women into the White House for his regular rendezvous. Hersh claimed that John had turned the prestigious White House into a Playboy mansion where he kept pictures of his trysts in the form of photographs. "Over a number of years, we framed a number of photographs of people — naked and often lying on beds — in the Lincoln Room," Sidney Mickelson, who used to run an art gallery in DC, told Hersh during an interview.
According to History, JFK was rumored to have an affair with Marilyn Monroe, who famously sang him a breathy version of "Happy Birthday." Per These Few Precious Days: The Final Year of Jack with Jackie, Monroe even wanted to take their relationship to the next level. She wanted to be more than just his mistress and saw herself as a Second First Lady, even calling Jackie one time telling her about their relationship. His infamous affair with Judith Campbell Exner also stirred up some dark controversies after she began dating Sam Giancana. While there's no evidence for these claims, he sure had some verifiable affairs with other women, including a 19-year-old intern Mimi Beardsley who opened up about the 18-month affair in her memoir. He also had a relationship with his wife's friend Mary Pinchot Meyer, whose 1964 murder remains unsolved to this day.
Yet, despite knowing about all of this, Jackie remained steadfast by her husband's side. "It was a marriage of its time," a close family friend told PEOPLE. "At the end of the day, Jack came back to Jackie — and that was it. They loved each other. It was kinetic between them. She wasn’t trying to change him." Even before marriage, she knew her husband was a ladies-man who would eventually cause her heartbreak, but "such heartbreak would be worth the pain." JFK was not exactly discreet about his affairs but for Jackie privacy was sacred, and despite his shortcomings, she found a reason to be with him.
In a letter addressed to her "atypical" husband in 1957 or 1958, she expressed how she longed for him. "I know everyone says married couples should never separate — as you get off the same wavelength, but I think it is usually good when we go away from each other as we both realize so much. You are an atypical husband — increasingly so in one way or another every year since we've been married — so you mustn't be surprised to have an atypical wife. Each of us would have been so lonely with the normal kind," she wrote in the letter that was put up for auction in 2018. Although she spoke about the imperfect parts of their marriage, she did ultimately voice her love for him. "I can't write down what I feel for you, but I will show you when I am with you — and I think you must know. All my love, Jackie."
This was further exemplified when her husband was assassinated in 1963. The image of Jackie and her blood-stained outfit will be forever etched in our memories.