INDISCRETIONS

Mimi Alford, Marilyn Monroe, More Alleged JFK Mistresses (PHOTOS)

From former intern Mimi Alford to Marilyn Monroe, 10 conformed or suspected JFK flames.

President Kennedy juggled the Cuban missile crisis, the space race, the Bay of Pigs affair—and, if you ask history’s gossips, lots of women. From his young days until his death, the congenial president was rumored to have as many as a dozen affairs. Some are confirmed and some, it seems, happened only in his dreams. From Judith Campbell Exner to Marilyn Monroe, 10 of the most likely suspects.

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Judith Campbell Exner

After Frank Sinatra introduced socialite Judith Campbell Exner to JFK in 1960, she apparently became intertwined in both Kennedy’s personal and political lives. As an admitted mistress of both Kennedy and mafia don Sam Giancana, she said she was a go-between between the president and the mob. In an interview in 1996, she claimed she broke off the affair with Kennedy in 1962 because she was “tired of being the other woman.” She also claimed to have aborted Kennedy’s baby a year before the president was killed.

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Gene Tierney

This Hollywood starlet and pinup girl met a young JFK during a brief separation from her husband in 1946. Even then, Kennedy told her his political ambitions were too big to get caught up with an actress. He broke it off and she reconciled with her husband. But Tierney had the last laugh. After the 1962 election, she admitted to a reporter that she had voted for Nixon. “I thought that he would make a better president,” she said.

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Marilyn Monroe

Did it really happen? No historian has been able to verify Monroe’s claims of an affair with Jack or his brother Bobby. But the president did have several rendezvous with the Hollywood bombshell. Kennedy met Monroe at a dinner party in 1962, where he reportedly invited her to spend the weekend with him—and without Jackie—in Palm Springs, Calif. On another occasion back in Washington, he took her with several other people sailing on the Potomac under the moonlight. But the most desirable woman in the world seemed to be just another woman to Kennedy. He reportedly told her on one occasion that she wasn’t “first lady material.”

Jacqueline Bouvier

Jack and Jackie’s 10-year marriage began in 1953, after the two met while both working in Washington, D.C., he as a congressman and she as a newspaper photographer. After his presidential election in 1960, they enjoyed the White House’s Camelot years, an era in the nation’s capital had a mystique not since paralleled. Known for her unique sense of style and grace under pressure, Jackie served as first lady until she was widowed in 1963, at age 34, when JFK was assassinated.

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Gunilla von Post

The time JFK spent with the Swede Gunilla von Post amounted to nothing more than a tryst, but one spread over five years. In 2010, a collection of letters Jack sent to von Post was auctioned off for $115,000. The letters span the years between their meeting, during Jack’s pre-wedding trip to the French Riviera, through the first years of his marriage to Jackie and the one week he and von Post spent together in Sweden in 1955. Von Post published a book about their affair after Jackie’s death in 1994, but the book received mostly tepid reviews.

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Mimi Beardsley Alford

The prep-school senior met Kennedy on a tour of the White House in 1961. Weeks later, without asking, she was offered a prestigious internship in the White House press office. After a summer of pool parties and overseas trips with the president, she was given a staff job. Despite decades of speculation, in 2003, she finally admitted, rather curtly, that it was true. “From June 1962 to November 1963, I was involved in a sexual relationship with President Kennedy.” In early 2012, she published a book detailing the affair.

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Blaze Starr

Blaze Starr, an actress and stripper, claimed to have had an affair while Kennedy was running for president. She was introduced to the candidate by Louisiana Gov. Earl Long, with whom she was also having an affair. Years later, while visiting the West Wing during the Cuban missile crisis, she claims the president said to her, “Boy, if Fidel Castro had something like you he would think more about making love, and less about making war.” In a 1990s documentary, Starr recalled Kennedy’s sexual prowess as “fast and great.”

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Angie Dickinson

Even decades after being introduced to Jack and Jackie by then-boyfriend Frank Sinatra, Angie Dickinson remained coy about her purported affair with Kennedy. Kitty Kelly stirred the pot when she published Jackie Oh!, in which she alleged at least one instance of skinny dipping. Dickinson told People magazine that she had campaigned for Kennedy, admitting nothing more.

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Jill Cowan

 Perhaps Bill Clinton wasn’t the first to have a West Wing affair. Details—and proof—of Kennedy’s meanderings in office are elusive, but Cowan, a White House secretary, was among those said to be courted by the president on several occasions for a break from the busy work of running the country. In several later accounts, White House staffers remember Cowan making frequent trips to the Oval Office and that her presence had a way of lightening the president’s mood.

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Pam Turnure

In her early 20s, Turnure was being primed to become Jackie Kennedy’s press secretary, and she strangely resembled the first lady, too. She caught the president’s eye, and from 1961 to 1963, Turnure reportedly had occasional rendezvous with Kennedy. In a lengthy interview with Turnure in 1964, after JFK’s death, the subject of any West Wing trysts never came up. But she did offer a vivid recollection of his demeanor: “He had a well-controlled nature, but if there was something, it was very quick to surface and then this was over with right away and forgotten.”