Carolyn Bessette & JFK Jr. were in counseling, ‘wanted to improve their marriage’


There’s yet another new book coming out about the Kennedy family. This one is called The Kennedy Heirs, and honestly? People wouldn’t keep writing these books if there wasn’t a significant market for them. People of my generation and older – especially the Boomers and full-on Gen-Xers – remember John F. Kennedy Jr. with such fondness, and people are still obsessed with the “tragic fairy tale” of John’s marriage to Carolyn Bessette. I know that because whenever I write about them, people are still fascinated, and there are still all kinds of theories about the state of their marriage before their deaths in 1999. This new book gets into all of that – you can read People Magazine excerpt here. Some highlights:

John & Carolyn struggled: “John and Carolyn loved each other,” says Taraborrelli, “but their struggles were much more real than people realize.”

It was love at first sight: When John first met the beautiful Calvin Klein fashion publicist in the mid-nineties, he confided to a close friend, “You know how you hear about meeting a girl and knowing instantly she’s the one? Well, it happened to me.” Their relationship was intense from the beginning. “John wanted her to know him as other than the son of the president,” says Taraborrelli.

Carolyn struggled with his family: During her first visit to the Hyannis Port family compound, Ethel Kennedy quizzed her about current events at the dinner table, Taraborrelli writes: “So, do you think a federal assault weapons ban will impact crime in our country, dear?” asked Ethel. “Carolyn looked stunned. ‘I…um…I…uh…I think it will?” she answered. “I’m sure you do, dear,” Ethel responded. “You may want to read up on it. It’s quite important.”

John was doing coke too? “He [the friend] walked in just in time to see Carolyn doing a line of coke from the coffee table,” Taraborrelli writes. “‘It’s been a bad week,’ John told [the friend] as he sat down and did a line.” Then, the friend said, John put his head in Carolyn’s lap and she tenderly stroked his hair. “They looked peaceful together,” said the friend. Adds Taraborrelli: “This was the nineties when young people, like John and Carolyn, sometimes partied. They had experiences the way people often do. I found no evidence of any addiction or problems for either of them.”

They were working on their marriage in counseling: “Both wanted to improve their marriage. John didn’t want to be one of those Kennedy men who didn’t care how his wife feels…. They were working on their relationship at the time they died. They thought they had all the time in the world to figure this out. Together they had the most thrilling highs and the most crushing blows. They really did love each other, but the question I ask in the book and the question they asked themselves was, ‘Is that enough?’ Their love for each other was undeniable, but was it enough considering everything that was working against them?”

[From People]

Of course I’ve heard the stories about how Carolyn was a big-time recreational drug user, but I thought John was pretty clean, maybe just drinking and smoking weed. But maybe Carolyn got him started on the heavier stuff. As for the whole “they were working on their marriage” thing… I don’t know. I read that Vanity Fair story which came out in 2003 about how bad it really was between them in the last months, but back in those days, VF always went with the most scandalous angle. I think Carolyn was a complicated person, a drug abuser, and someone who hated the spotlight. But I also think she was on her way to figuring some sh-t out about her marriage and about fame. We’ll never know. And that’s why these books are still being written.


Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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222 Responses to “Carolyn Bessette & JFK Jr. were in counseling, ‘wanted to improve their marriage’”

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  1. FrenchGirl says:

    She had a long affair with a male model Michael Bergin before meeting Kennedy and according to Bergin at the end of her marriage

    • Shiba says:

      Consider the source- Michael Bergen needed a hook to sell his book pitch for a nice advance. Who can contradict his story now that Carolyn is gone?
      Total slime.

    • olive says:

      … claims Michael Bergin, who sold a book about this. Not a trusted source, just out for money.

    • perplexed says:

      Did anyone ever back up or corroborate what he wrote? I always wondered why he was believed so easily, when it wasn’t like she was alive to refute anything he said.

      As beautiful as she was, she looked too stressed out to be having an affair with anyone, to be honest.

      • Tourmaline says:

        I think there is no doubt that Michael was her boyfriend before JFK Jr, but yeah all the stuff about secret meet ups and assignations after Carolyn was married sounds suspect. She lived in fear of the paparazzi and I don’t know if she would have risked an affair.

    • Liz says:

      Not Bergin, but definitely David Charvet. Reliable source—friend of a friend.

  2. Peg says:

    The author is a known liar, anything he writes, I would take with a grain of salt.
    Who in NYC didn’t know about her drug habit.

  3. Nev says:


  4. launicaangelina says:

    Their tragic death always makes me sad. I know I might get hate for this, but I really can’t imagine they would have stayed married for much more had they not died. They looked great together, but their body language showed lots of tension too.

    • 90sgirl says:

      I miss them still. I love that John pulled off the marriage without hoards of the press finding out until he wanted them to.
      The photo of Caroline coming out of the church in her dress at the end of their wedding, with John is gorgeous.
      I saw John in person in NYC a few times. He was on his bike a lot and one day I was standing waiting to cross one of the avenues and John pulled up next to me with his bike and we both waited for traffic to clear. He was cordial, nice, said hi and something about get ready to run or cross, lol. I was beaming ,looking at how handsome he was and then ran with him to the other side. He said are you ok, I said yes, thank you and then John disappeared on his bike into some big building. Lol
      I saw him another time, on the day Jackie died. A lot of New Yorkers gathered at Jackie’s building ,crowds and crowds. John, came walking down the street and went into his moms building people were saying , how much they loved his mother he said thank you as he went in. Caroline his sister and her husband Schlossberg, and Jackies sister Lee came to Jackies apartment and then suddenly either one or two cars pull up and Daryll Hannah and Arnold Shwarz… (Maria’s husband at the time) pull up and wave hello to the crowd and go into Jackie’s building. Several more Kennedy cousins appeared that day but I can’t recall exactly which ones, but recognizable faces to me back then.

    • FH says:

      i totally get where you are coming from. just imagine if brad and angelina had died in 2011 they would have been hailed as martyrs and no one would ever be allowed to entertain the possibility of them ever separating but they not only did that play out infront of our eyes we had to be dragged into their nasty custody.
      at the end of the we are all human! kennedy or brangelina once you walk into your home the facade and mystique gives way to the complex human with multiple layers underneath.

    • Prairiegirl says:

      My enduring image of them captured in my brain: grainy photos of them screaming at and fighting with each other in the middle of Central Park, published in the National Enquirer. Every couple has their problems but a shoving match in New York City? When you have a public persona? They were troubled.

      • ChillyWilly says:

        Yep, cocaine is a helluva drug. but they were pretty young and maybe would have gotten their act together (as a couple or apart). Very tragic. He was so handsome and bright and seemed like a decent human.

      • Christin says:

        Those photos were memorable for all the wrong reasons. Remember the after-argument one where he was sitting on the curb, clearly saddened, holding on to the dog’s leash. That type of volatility either has to be resolved, or it can end up in a really bad situation.

        I wonder what time would have done for them individually and in their relationship. It seemed like 50-50 at best that they would make it as a couple. Either you grow stronger together, or everything just shatters. The volatility of that park incident, plus how miserable she often appeared, didn’t seem to suggest they would make it for the long haul. After all, they were not teenagers or in their early 20s when they married.

      • Bella Bella says:

        I believe it was Washington Square Park, fwiw.

      • Sara says:

        I came into the comments section to say I remember that too. The fighting in Central Park.

      • Lena says:

        The fight was during their engagement so whatever it was about, they obviously didn’t think it was big enough not to get married. Also, it was nobody’s business but their own. I am sure we have all acted in an embarrassing manner in public, it is just that most of us are not followed by the paparazzi. And yes, people can fight and love each other.

      • Lilly says:

        I know, and that was before they even got married. I was really surprised when I heard they got married! When you have fights like that, I don’t see the reasoning for getting married.

    • Lulu says:

      Their body language in pictures is stiff, but live footage showed that he was very very intensely attracted to her. She seemed more a cool cucumber and obviously hated paps. But they looked in love to me.
      I think that relationship would’ve fared better today than in the 90s. Back then people were still sooooo sexist and really put jfk up on a pedestal. Everything was her fault because she wasn’t good enough and dared to have confidence. She got him (who was 5 years older? ) on drugs… She picked fights with him… She caused the plane crash because she was late due to a nail appt (not nyc traffic). Honestly so much of the narrative back then wouldn’t even be published today because of how sexist it is. But if they were alive i think they’d have kids and be in politics…. like all his family.

      • GMonkey says:

        Blaming her for the crash is insane. Even if she was late because of a nail appointment and cocaine orgy, the crash is John’s fault. HE was the pilot. HE knew, or should have known that the weather wasn’t compatible for flight. I don’t know if it was just hubris, or cocaine fueled overconfidence.

        As a class of 1992 HS graduate, I didn’t quite realize at the time how sexist the 90s were until a lot of self-reflection of the past few years. The grunge era was so full of PMABs, “I’m not like all the other girls” internalized misogyny. I’m glad we’re trying to reflect and improve, finally.

      • dlc says:

        Saying she got him into drugs is nearly laughable. He was a grown ass man. Also, I’m sure the young, rich and beautiful in NYC in the 90s using coke was not unusual.

    • Lilly says:

      They fought terribly even in public before they were married. I guess I’m the only “gen x-er” who doesn’t “remember them fondly”. I’m not a Kennedy worshipper. He failed the bar exam twice (finally passing the 3rd time) which puts him in the bottom 1% of his graduating class, and in the bottom 10% nationally. And people would have just handed the dumb-dumb a political career. To me, that’s absolutely tragic. Carolyn Bessette was not a nice or a kind woman by any stretch of the imagination, and they really fought. I, for one, was shocked when I heard they got married!

  5. BengalCat😻 says:

    God, they were beautiful! Her style was effortless and timeless. I still wear my hair like hers but lack her luminosity, sigh.

    • Esmom says:

      Agree about their beauty and style. People who weren’t around back then really don’t get how fashion forward she was — she really did a lot of change trends from “big 80s remnants” to more minimal and classic looks.

      I was always fascinated to read that she radically transformed her look when she went to work for CK and eventually met John (hair, brows, weight, etc). But she did have an inherent sense of style that showed no matter what she wore.

      • Spicecake38 says:

        She is my style icon.The nineties,just can’t forget them.I wil always remember that decade the most because of its iconic people,mostly Carolyn,John,and of course Diana…There was still mystery then around the beautiful and famous that doesn’t exist anymore because of social media and what it’s taken away.

      • Tourmaline says:

        @Spicecake38 Agree and one of the most iconic things has to be the pictures from Gianni Versace’s funeral in Milan in the summer of 1997- both Diana (just a month or so before her death) and Carolyn sitting in the cathedral, with Elton John, Sting, etc. all nearby.

      • Spicecake38 says:

        Yes Tourmaline I forgot to mention Versace,and I actually never knew Carolyn and John were there,although of course they were…
        I think the loss of Diana shortly after Versace eclipses everything else for me somehow

      • Mia says:

        Where did you read about her? I’m interested

  6. Eyeroll says:

    I guess it’s an interesting thing of loving someone deeply but hating a part of their lifestyle for both of them really. They’d died when I was a child, so I didn’t really understand their celebrity with JFK as the Kennedy heir. I also think part of the fascination is with the Kennedy family as a whole and having that much tragedy in one family. Thinking about what could’ve been if anyone of them had lived.

  7. Angie says:

    I read somewhere that a bunch of the negative stuff about Carolyn was leaked by the Kennedys after her death to keep JFKs name clean and protect them in the wrongful death claim filed by her parents for the death of their daughters ie to distract from the fact his negligence in piloting killed them. I don’t know if course but it rings a little true to me so i take criticisms of her with a grain of salt.

    • Shiba says:

      People are so gullible. The Bessettes signed an NDA when they received insurance settlement money from John’s estate. Who benefits from negative press about Carolyn?
      Keeps the focus on her & off him.
      Let them R.I.P.

    • SamC says:

      I’ve read that too, and that Edwin Schlossberg, Caroline’s husband, was the worst of all of them to the Bessette family after the crash.

      • Snappyfish says:

        Carolyn & Lauren’s Mother sued the estate for the death of Lauren for the tune of 30 million. Since Carolyn was married to John they had no claim on her life. Caroline paid them off for $15 million. I’m guessing that might be why Edwin was angry

    • Carey says:

      It’s kind of garbage that her family filed a wrongful death suit. Who does that? It was a tragic accident so you sue your son-in-law’s family? That comes across as predatory.

      • olive says:

        the NTSB determined pilot error was the cause of the crash, and JFK Jr was the pilot. don’t forget it wasn’t just Carolyn on board that plane, her sister was there too. the Bessettes lost TWO daughters because of his mistakes, of course they sued the Kennedys. sometimes you gotta hit ’em where it hurts, and for rich folks, it’s the pocketbook.

      • Shiba says:

        It’s actually quite standard in a situation with wealthy people and no heirs. Mrs Bessette lost TWO children & Caroline Kennedy was the recipient of John’s estate. It is 100% an insurance matter.

      • perplexed says:

        I would have sued, if I lost two daughters. That’s TWO daughters. He was warned not to fly. He shouldn’t have flown that plane.

      • Jamie says:

        It’s not predatory at all. I liked the guy (and his magazine), but let’s face facts. This crash was 100% preventable.

        His stupidity killed the Bessette’s two daughters. He was not night qualified and he shouldn’t have been piloting with a broken foot. It was outrageous and I don’t blame the Bessettes one bit for suing John’s estate.

      • Spicecake38 says:

        Yeah,not predatory,John had their daughters on the plane,and I still remember the media making it more about John and the tragic death of another Kennedy more so than the loss the Bessette family endured.Nothing against John,but it was always about him first is how I remember it.

      • Tourmaline says:

        I agree with those that say not predatory, it was an insurance issue and that is what people have insurance for. If it was a horrible car accident vs plane accident it would have been the same.

        On the other hand I also think that Ann Freeman (Carolyn and Lauren’s mother) had no love for the Kennedy family or probably for JFK Jr. I don’t think there is any doubt his negligence caused the crash. And as others have mentioned the way the Kennedy family (Ed and Caroline namely) treated the Bessettes in the aftermath of the crash did not help matters.

      • Bunny says:

        I can’t remember the details anymore, but my brother-in-law, who is an aeronautics engineer, works in commercial aviation design, and is an experienced pilot, said that John was totally at fault and should not have been flying that night. He said that John didn’t have enough experience, and would have known he didn’t have enough experience.

        He said that overestimating your abilities is one of the worst things you can do as a pilot.

        So, I don’t blame the family for suing. It didn’t get their children back, but it made a point, I guess.

        The entire incident was terribly tragic. All three had long lives ahead of them, all three had such promise.

      • Deedee says:

        It’s not just the loss of two daughters, which would be an emotional nightmare for the parents. I’m sure there were expenses involved. And I heard the Bessettes were bullied over funeral arrangements. Their mom wanted the girls buried nearby.

    • Anance says:

      Second this^^^^

  8. Mia4s says:

    Boy for a country that fought so hard to get rid of a king, America does love its royalty! Their loss was terribly tragic and I feel bad for their loved ones of course….but he was a magazine editor. The public impact of all this was entirely about his family legacy, not his own legacy. It really is akin to monarchy.

    Part of me gets it though; there’s nothing more tantalizing than lost potential and what might have been.

    • AryasMum says:

      Not really. He wasn’t handed a nation for simply being born to the right person and owning a penis. He absolutely benefited from nepotism, but so do all wealthy white men.

      • deezee says:

        I disagree with you, Although not “handed a country” he was being groomed and would eventually have run for president and no doubt would have won based on family name.

      • Spicecake38 says:

        He would have been given the presidency on a silver platter ( no shade to him) but people I knew were just waiting for him to enter the political arena.Looks ,charisma,family name…

      • Lowrider says:

        Looks, the name but not the brains or ambition. I don’t think he had “it”.

      • A says:

        “he wasn’t handed a nation for simply being born to the right person” Uh, sure, but there were plenty of people who thought he should be handed it because he was JFK’s son. And while he never became president, he inherited millions and millions of dollars from his father and his mother, got numerous second chances even after having been expelled from private schools and his poor academic record. His name and the fact that he was born to the right people gave him more chances than most people will ever get.

    • Esmom says:

      Eh, I don’t think it’s akin to monarchy, especially as you said he wasn’t in a real position of power. While there are powerful Kennedys today, they have nowhere near the influence of, say, the Kochs or Mercers. People just had/have a fascination with their lifestyle, their looks, their tragedies and dramas.

      • Betsy says:

        And at least the Kennedys were out, you could see them. None of this Mercers,
        Princes, Leonards, Kochs in the shadows baloney.

      • North of Boston says:


      • A says:

        “people have a fascination with their lifestyle, their looks, their tragedies and dramas” But all of those things are absolutely influential though. JFK was president almost sixty years ago, and he was only there for three years, and yet his myth changed how we think about that office today. The fascination itself is powerful and influential, and it continues to be.

        “the Kennedys were out, you could see them” They gave Rosemary Kennedy a lobotomy and then stashed her away in a home and no one knew about her for decades until it came to light. They have their skeletons. It might not be of the sort the Mercer family and the Kochs have, but they have them.

      • Betsy says:

        @A – I mean they were out in politics, not performing machinations in secret.

    • Prairiegirl says:

      Yeah, he was SO being groomed for public office. I’m old enough to remember the speech he gave at the 1988 Democratic Convention to introduce his uncle Ted. The crowd was ecstatic and people were crying, even though it was short and not terribly compelling.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I totally disagree. He was a celebrity and held no power other than popularity. Monarchy is bestowing power and authority.

  9. perplexed says:

    After reading about her interaction with Ethel Kennedy, no wonder she needed to take cocaine…

    • AryasMum says:

      I think all the Kennedys were like this. Oprah talked about how she hid in the closet to avoid Maria Shriver’s father. He would challenge them to do more, work harder, achieve goals.

      • holly hobby says:

        Yes I read in one of Jackie’s bios that even she thought they were overwhelming. They were all competitive – like they were on steroids competitive. Now the third generation (Patrick S. Maria’s daughter who’s marrying Pratt, Robert’s Taylor Swift date son etc.) is just sort of meh. Nothing great will come out of that group.

    • Jaded says:

      Ethel Kennedy was a total cow. She mocked Jackie’s soft voice and often referred to her as “the Debutante”. She kept an enemies’ list and blackballed anyone who she felt was disloyal or critical of the Kennedys. Her house, Hickory Hill, was a hellish mess, dirty and overrun by kids and dogs, with life-size portraits of Bobby all over the place. And her own family, the Skakels, had a lot of skeletons in the closet, especially Michael Skakel who was eventually imprisoned for the murder of Martha Moxley. NOT a nice woman.

      • Christin says:

        The more I read about Ethel, the more I view her as a feral snob. Rude and bossy don’t begin to cover it.

      • Nancypants says:

        I’m sure I’m remembering this right but Ethel fell on hard times after her husband passed and the house WAS falling apart and Jackie replaced the roof on Hickory Hill. She probably paid for other repairs too.

        Jackie kind of had to be shamed into it but she helped her family with Grey Gardens too.
        That’s an interesting story. Gross but interesting.

        The original documentary with the real people is even more gross than the movie with Drew Barrymore but both are good. Good summer films.

      • Bella Bella says:

        I believe it was Lee, actually, who initiated The Grey Gardens intervention to save the house.

      • Nancypants says:

        I think Lee R. saved the house in the end but Jackie replaced the roof and made other repairs when the place was threatened with being condemned.
        Good grief. I’ve seen episodes of Hoarders but Grey Gardens was a total sh*t show.
        Rats and raccoons and 100 cats in the house pooping everywhere.
        I know the women weren’t all that well but how do you let a once gorgeous house and garden end up like that?
        You can’t even mop a floor or cut down some vines and brush?
        Maybe they liked it that way or just didn’t give a crap or were mentally ill and it was some unrelated guy who saved that house and restored it.
        I don’t know if he still has it but it was beautiful when he finished.
        I think I would have burned it to the ground.

      • Bella Bella says:

        Nancypants, watch Hoarders. People let their houses go to crap all the time. It usually is an indication of some kind of mental illness or difficulty coping with society. It’s actually very common. I’d withhold the judgment.

      • windyriver says:

        Ben Bradlee and his wife Sally Quinn (Washington Post) bought Grey Gardens in 1979 from “Little Edie” after her mother died. They restored the house, which Quinn sold a couple of years ago.

        The Beale family had owned the house since the 1920’s, but there were marital issues, a divorce, and sounds like the two women were eventually left on their own financially. So money was an issue, but mental illness was most likely part of the equation with how they eventually lived.

        Possibly Bradlee/Quinn also restored the gardens, but not sure. The originals were created/commissioned circa 1913/14 by Robert Hill and his wife. The property at that time was 4 acres on the ocean in the Hamptons. Photographer Francis Benjamin Johnson made slides as part of her garden series and these are available from the Library of Congress website.

        For anyone who’s interested, this is what they originally looked like circa 1914:

      • Nancypants says:

        Bella, that’s what I wrote. ? “Hoarders”, “mentally ill”.
        I was giving the benefit of the doubt and I’m sure finances played a large part and thanks to windyriver for the links.
        Since I’m here, it annoys me when people say don’t judge.
        If you live in the US, our entire system is based on judging.
        We have Judges and juries and police judge our every action.
        It’s a judicial system.

      • Emby says:

        They are pretty clearly mentally ill, if you watch it.

        And being personally judgemental about someone’s involuntary mental illness is not at all the same as presiding over a trial to determine guilt or innocence. Like…you KNOW it isn’t the same at all.

      • A says:

        “dirty and overrun by kids and dogs” I mean. Look, she was a single mother with 11 children. I feel like there’s enough to criticize her on the snob front without bringing this stuff into it. She was a fcking prick. So many of the women who married into the Kennedy family were snobbish and small-minded and utter a**holes to anyone they thought was beneath them. Rose, Jackie, you name it.

      • NicoleInSavannah says:

        Lee is the one who first took part in restoring Grey Gardens. The documentary was actually about her, Warhol, and all of those friends. Lee did not like how she and her crew were portrayed and tried to scrap the film. A few years ago, the footage was found. The Maylses brothers thought the Beales were the most interesting and real people so they came back and made Grey Gardens. Big Edie’s husband(then ex) had money and never gave her any.

      • Jaded says:

        @ A: The Skakel family was filthy rich. Her father, George, started the Great Lakes Carbon Corporation which became the one of the largest privately held corporations in the United States and made him filthy rich. We’re not criticizing her on the “snob front”, she was a monster mom.

    • ravynrobyn says:

      @PERPLEXED-IKR? Sheeesh…

  10. Skyblue says:

    I wanted to be her! Low-key glamour, walking around NYC before it turned into a Disneyland version of itself with a dog, copy of the NYT and JFK Jr. Seriously.

  11. Weaver says:

    Everything she wore then could still be worn today and not look out of style.

  12. Seraphina says:

    I was fairly young when this was going down. I never understood how everyone went gaga over Carolyn. I liked her style, classic and yes they looked nice together but there was always something that seemed distant in her. But I always thought he could have done better than Darryl Hanna as well.

    And yes, we Americans do love royalty. That’s why we are so fixated on British royalty. While we didn’t want a king, political royal families have always held our attention and interest.

    • Nancypants says:

      I’m the all American girl and I don’t care about the royals.

      I liked Diana and felt sorry for her and her sons but that’s about it.

      In fact, I’m tired of Meghan and Kate and their drama and I don’t care what the queen has in her handbag or is having for tea.

      • Kk2 says:

        Yea I don’t think Americans are “fixated” on royals in the least, at least the younger generation- meaning people 40s and younger. They get the same level of interest as Hollywood celebrities, at most. I think American interest increased with Meghan- at least mine did. But I still don’t care at all about the queen or the others. Probably older generations of Americans cared more, like my parents age (60s-70s). But when I was a teenager I don’t remember Harry and Will being of much interest here (to teen girls). I mean they were known, but we were crushing on JTT and Devon Sawa lol

        The Kennedys are more interesting to me than the British royals, but I’m not obsessed with them either. Wealth and power is always a draw. The royals have wealth but not much power. The Kennedys had/have both.

      • perplexed says:

        I think it’s the drama people are fixated on. Whenever the royals appear interesting, it’s usually because of a scandal. Same thing with the Kennedys. I do also think they carry themselves in a different way from celebrities so when scandal hits them it’s more….shocking? When Julia Roberts is running after a married man, it’s not that surprising. When Princess Diana does it, well, yeah, it’s a little shocking — maybe because patrician-looking princesses are held to higher standards or something? I assume people had the same level of shock when Jackie Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis. And assassinations will make any family seem interesting (I hate to say this out loud, but it is what it is). Tragedy in general makes for a good story. The Bushes are a dynasty but they don’t generate the same interest since, well, they’re boring.

        I do think the younger generation of Kennedys don’t captivate the public the way JFK Jr. did, so in some sense I do think he was a little different in that regard. Then again, he was the best-looking one. I have wondered if he’d be as big of a “star” today, though, even with his looks, what with practically everyone being famous nowadays. And whether his hair would be in style….it was so big…it’s kind of like Diana’s hair…you can immediately place the time period by looking at it.

    • Becks1 says:

      I cant remember how I got so interested in the royals (I’m 37, so I remember Diana’s death and funeral, but didn’t understand why people were so upset.) I think partially because I love history and went through a deep British history phase (Tudors, and the century or so before Henry vIII) and that was right around 2009ish, and then a year later Will announced his engagement to Kate and I was like Princess!!!!!!! Fancy dresses! Jewels! Then I fell down the rabbit hole of the British royal family in general.

      But I think had I not developed that history in earlier dynasties, I would not especially care about the royals now. Most people I know are aware of Will and Kate and Meghan and Harry, and tune in for things like their wedding dresses, but most don’t care about their day to day lives or any of the drama that we discuss here.

    • AryasMum says:

      I never quite got the worship either, but then I don’t worship people for simply wearing nice clothes and looking good in them. I will admit I secretly found her rather homely. Now a couple decades into the increasingly plastic/generic look, her unique face is more interesting to me.

      • perplexed says:

        I was fascinated by the fact that she could look good in jogging pants. Not the fancy spandex kind they make today, but those regular cotton ones with the elastics at the bottom. There were times she was technically dressed badly while walking through Central Park with her turtleneck, sweatshirt, and jogging pants, but she still looked good. When someone like Mila Kunis or Jennifer Garner dresses like that, they really do look bad. Carolyn Bessette, on the other hand, still looked posh.

        Whether she actually was natural-looking, I have no idea. But I think she looked natural, which I think is part of her appeal. I suspect she put effort into her appearance, but I don’t necessarily think you could see all of that effort like you can with the Kardashian-style look.

    • violet says:

      “there was always something that seemed distant in her”

      For someone like him, who had gobs of beautiful women throwing themselves at him all the time, he probably liked this aspect of her. It meant he had to actually chase her, which is thrilling to some people.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      I was 5 and I remember Diana and Charles wedding,my family cared zero for royalty,but in my little girl brain I was stunned at seeing Diana walk up those cathedral steps,I thought I had never seen someone so resplendent.She was as close as a fairy tale princess as I had (or have) ever seen,and I never bothered with learning about her in my young years except to say she was always on every magazine ALL the time,and then learning about how unhappy she really was.It taught me something somehow,seeing a beautiful princess being cheated on,cheating too,and then divorcing,then dying so young . I don’t especially care for the royals now,just read about them here,but they can’t come close to Diana IMO,and I suppose that’s actually good for them all,especially the youngest ones.

  13. maude says:

    Kaiser – what’s a full-on Gen-Xer? Is that related to their age or attitude? (I do know what a Gen-Xer is :))

    • Kaiser says:

      Gen-Xer meaning not someone on the edge, not an Xennial

      • maude says:

        Sorry Kaiser – I do know what a Gen Xer is (I am one). Was wondering about “full on” & what that meant.

      • Christin says:

        I think she means a true Gen Xer – early stage, not on the cusp of the next generation (as they would not likely remember John’s 1980s heyday). I think that’s why she posted the Xennial definition for you.

    • Iknow says:

      some people, like myself, is on the periphery. I’m technically, a Millennial. To be a full-on Den-exer was well into their twenties when JFK and Carolyn were walking around NYC being fabulous. I was in my late teens when they died, so though I was well aware of them, I wasn’t as into them as I would’ve been now.

      • Esmom says:

        I’m full on then, lol. I was in my early 30s, in the hospital having had my first son, when the plane crashed. Everyone in the hospital was riveted to the TVs.

      • Spicecake38 says:

        I am not *full on* Gen X,even though my age( 43)technically puts me there,like I was in second grade when Michael Jackson and madonna were super famous,so I don’t remember their greatest music especially,because I wasn’t old enough to care.I didn’t get into eighties style because I was too young to care for most of it,but it was technically my time;I was more of a nineties girl,Friends,Nirvana slip dresses with combat boots 😅I think a very true gen x person was more involved in the eighties,and some like myself are kind of hybrid between X + millennial/xennial,it just depends on what stage of life you were in and when.Hard even now exactly to explain.

    • Peanutbuttr says:

      Full on Gen xers are those who have gone through college without email or internet. Xennials are those who have been exposed to computers in some form for the bulk of their lives but can also remember having to do research in a library

  14. Nancypants says:

    My husband and his family are from Connecticut (not the rich part) and are Irish Catholic and, yes, they consider the Kennedys akin to royalty.

    I don’t get it.

    You know, JFK Jr. was in love with Daryl Hannah for quite some time and her family was wealthy on their own but mom, Jackie O., didn’t want her son to marry an actress.
    Look how well that turned out.

    I still remember watching t.v. and the reports of the searches and thinking, “This won’t end well.”
    But you know, lots of families, especially large families, go through stuff like this but the Kennedys seem to take unnecessary risks, God love ’em.
    JKF Jr was a new pilot who took off in bad conditions with a cast on his foot.
    Livin’ on the edge.

    • Steff says:

      It’s said that Jackie never wanted John to fly. Then after she died, he started taking lessons. ☹️

      The crash was so unavoidable and unfortunately, John’s inexperience flying in harsh conditions (relying on in flight instruments to level the plane and not his eye) doomed them.

      • GMonkey says:

        Steff, the crash was very avoidable. He shouldn’t have flown. Knowing when to say NO is pilot rule #1.

    • A says:

      I don’t know if anyone here has watched Derry Girls, but if anyone has, one of the funniest things to me is seeing the framed picture of JFK around the house (and the one of Dolly Parton too!!) The first episode of the second series was abt the main characters being sent away for the weekend for a Protestant/Catholic solidarity thing, and they had a whole blackboard full of their differences, and one of them was “Catholics love JFK.”

  15. Fanny says:

    I’ve read a ton of these books. Even John and Carolyn’s friends who wrote books to “defend” them always wound up confirming that things were pretty terrible in the marriage and Carolyn was a bit of a basket case, as much as everyone liked her.

    One of John’s college friends said he and his wife went out to dinner with them one night and Carolyn sat down on the curb outside the apartment as they were leaving and had a full-on crying meltdown. She was crying about how much the paparazzi tormented her. (No paparazzi were around at the time.) The friends were sympathetic but also felt it was over the top and she kind of needed to get over it.

    • Meg says:

      I marry jrk jr u knew u would be hounded by the paps. I don’t doubt theysay and do awful things but none of that is a surprise marrying into his family

    • Lauren II says:

      Agreed. Carolyn was on anti-depressant medication, and mixing it with cocaine & alcohol. I think Carolyn loved John, but wanted her privacy. The media would never leave them alone, because the Kennedy’s are American royalty. BTW, Carolyn may have been having a panic attack, anticipating being swarmed when they arrived at the restaurant.

      I think John was attracted to Carolyn because she was cold, intelligent & beautiful like his mum Jackie. Jackie had the strength, class & tenacity that Carolyn never possessed. . she seemed wild & disrespectful of John, missing her old life. Still, a very sad tragedy.

      • Bella Bella says:

        Jackie was not cold. I knew her. Reading these comments hits home for me how little anyone knows about the famous people we talk about here. It’s all projection and conjecture.

    • Tourmaline says:

      @Fanny yes I have read all these books too (and I am going to be buying this one posthaste because I love J Randy Taraborrelli the author– to me he is the king of Kennedy books and also has written good books on Princess Grace, etc).

      I remember reading one by a good friend of John’s – William Noonan maybe? – who was QUITE negative on Carolyn. Maybe it’s the same book where that anecdote about her crying outside came from. Anyway he basically bluntly says that marrying Carolyn was a mistake on John’s part. Even books that are quite positive about Carolyn (like What Remains by Carole Radziwill) portray her as really being at loose ends and feeling like she couldn’t leave their apartment without being hunted by paps. Plus most of the time Carolyn and John were together he was very preoccupied with George magazine which started out well but was hitting the skids by the time of the plane crash.

      I see that Carly Simon of all people has a Kennedy book coming out this year–a whole book about her relationship with Jackie. Yikes I’m sure Caroline and Ed Schlossberg will be hating that. It was reported that Carly tried to put a note in Jackie’s casket during her wake and Ed yelled at her that that was very inappropriate and only the family could put mementos in Jackie’s casket.

      • Fanny says:

        Yeah, the sidewalk incident was from Billy Noonan’s book. I don’t remember him being that negative towards Carolyn, but I do think he felt that Carolyn was wallowing. And that John was sick of being sweet and patient while Carolyn blamed him for things he couldn’t control.

        She definitely had a major problem with depression. Carole Radziwill indirectly confirmed the rumor that John wasn’t getting much action when she mentioned how anti-depressants and BCP had killed Carolyn’s desire.

        Like I said, all these people writing books to “defend” them against the rumors basically confirmed all of the rumors, just in a nicer way.

      • Bella Bella says:

        Carly and Jackie were friends. I’m surprised she’s written a book, but I know that Jackie meant a lot to her.

  16. SamC says:

    It’s amazing how much the Kennedy mystique still is out there. Was in Hyannis for work a few weeks ago, went power walking with coworkers and all they wanted to do was find the Kennedy compound. They were so excited when we found it and could walk on the beach and dock you see in all the photos.

    When we were talking to an older waitress at a local bfast place she said JKF, Jr and Carolyn were always lovely and friendly. Wasn’t so kind about the current generation, except for the young Joe Kennedy (the Congressman), they pretty much were all entitled, expected to be comp’d everywhere in town, and everyone hates when they are around in the summer.

    • LahdidahBaby says:


    • holly hobby says:

      Yeah the third generation sounds like do nothings (with exception to the one in Congress). I mean seriously they are famous for dating (Maria’s two kids and Robert Kennedy’s son who was Taylor S’s playmate). Nothing exceptional about any of the current batch.

  17. Lala11_7 says:

    I would have clapped RIGHT BACK at Ethel with a…

    “So…I heard that Bobby REALLY wanted to marry your sister…but SETTLED for you …is THAT true”

    As I took out my Virginia Slim….lit it…. sat back in my chair, pulled my cream colored cashmere sweater tighter around my shoulders…and blew the smoke in her direction….

    • I pet goat 2 says:

      Ok im in love with you

      • Lala11_7 says:

        Ethel….WHOOOOOOOOO WEEEEE!!!!!!!! She was/is NO JOKE…………..

        I was raised by older women like Ethel…mean as snake venom…women who have no problem decimating….EVERYBODY…from their own children…to the under paid waiter at a restaurant….I KNOW how to handle women like that…You gotta GUT PUNCH THEM….right off the bat

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Is not Ethel Kennedy the last of her Kennedy Generation still alive?

      • Lala11_7 says:

        @BayTampaBay…well, they say evil NEVA dies!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes…Ethel is the last from that generation….

      • Christin says:

        I love this thread! Yes, you have to verbally slap them right back. Why are so many women of that generation so bossy or downright b!tchy?

        In my extended family, there are/were several women (not to mention men) who thrive(d) on being bossy and rude. Most of the women are still around, still stirring as much as their mid-80s to 90-year-old selves can do.

        The good often go first, I guess.

      • North of Boston says:

        “Why are so many women of that generation so bossy or downright b!tchy?”

        For some, that was their only source of power. For many, there were limited spheres they could acceptably wield power in. Ripping other people to shreds in social situations to keep themselves at the top of the social heap was one.

        Sure, not all women of that generation were like that, even in the face of those same pressures. And some of them were evil/mean-spirited and enjoyed taking other people down (I had a few of those in my very own family), but there were some societal influences feeding into it too, I suspect. Not sure if that was the case with Ethyl, particularly.

    • Caitrin says:

      ::Chef’s kiss::

    • Snappyfish says:

      @LaLa….adore this comment. She smoked Parliaments but Virginia Slim’s sounds better

      • Lala11_7 says:

        You KNOW how it is…being on that DAMN ISLAND…with those DAMN PEOPLE…Smoked up all that was bought from the city the first hour being there….lucky to get the Slims!!!! LOL!!!!

      • Tourmaline says:

        Blew the smoke in Ethel’s direction and proceeded to snort a line off Ethel’s coffee table! hahaha

    • Tourmaline says:

      That’s awesome.

    • Stacy Dresden says:

      Come to my family holiday parties PLEASE

  18. mycomment says:

    oh ffs, they’re dead. let them rest in peace and their families not be subjected to this crap.

  19. Sue Denim says:

    I think a lot of the interest in the Kennedy’s is not a yearning for royalty as some here have said, but for poetry. Say what you will but the Kennedy’s — flawed tho they were — had a way with words and style that elevated political debates to something far richer, nobler. I remember reading that when JFK died, RFK turned to the Greek classics for solace and insight into tragedy. The way Jackie brought art and culture into the WH was incomparable, and then creating the myth of Camelot helped heal a grieving nation. And JFK’s lines like “…we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.” Would that we had more/some voices like that in politics today…

    • Nancypants says:

      You’re right and people often forget that Kennedy was the first Catholic president which was a big deal back then and no one thought it would happen and he and his brother did help with civil rights.
      Yeah, totally FLAWED but still if they had lived…

      And Jackie was so stylish but put up with so much sh*t and that was her choice.
      You know Daddy Joe (pig) gave her a million dollars to not divorce JFK and JFK had the Secret Service smuggle hookers into the White House. Good Lord. Trump/Stormy Daniels stuff.

      It’s been years and I don’t remember the interview but Maria Shriver once said about the “rumors” of her cheating husband, “I’m a Kennedy. Don’t all men cheat?” Sad.

    • sassbr says:

      Well, JFK didn’t write that. Ted Sorensen did. Although JFK would sprinkle in his own lines here and there during speeches, that particular speech was not a deviation-it’s considered one of Sorensen’s greatest that he wrote for Kennedy. I would say the Kennedy family’s greatest talent was really more recognizing talent in others and then making connections. It’s even basic fact that JFK was not even elected cleanly-his father’s mafia connections helped with in big markets like Chicago.

      • Jegede says:


        Well, ‘facts’ that the Nixon acolytes & fellow Republicans, have made standard narrative.

      • North of Boston says:

        When you’re talking about statesmen and stateswomen, it’s sort of assumed that there are speechwriters involved in most of their public speeches, no? That doesn’t change that that particular person gave the speech.

        So attributing that part of a speech to JFK
        “…we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.” isn’t out of line. We don’t typically attribute every thing a president says to his speechwriters, even if it’s known that this line or that line of a speech was crafted by a certain person.

      • Sassbr says:

        @jegede registered Democrat here and purchaser of tens of Kennedy books-the voter scheme is an accepted fact even among Kennedy acolytes (of which I am one.)

    • Tourmaline says:

      @SueDenim agree, the Kennedys were very into their own mythmaking and that contributed to the lasting public image of them all the way down to JFK Jr.

  20. BayTampaBay says:

    I miss the old Vanity Fair magazine from the Tina Brown & Graydon Carter days.

  21. Min says:

    Is it just me or whilst jr was so obviously ridiculously handsome, model esque, he lacked sex appeal or a sexual charisma. I can’t see myself wanting to rip his clothes off like I did brad pitt in fight club and snatch or tom hardy or marlon brando.

    • Shaniam says:

      It’s just you.

      • Nancypants says:

        Yeah, I thought he was gorgeous.

      • Lala11_7 says:

        Nah…it ain’t just her…I always thought he was as sexless as a Ken doll…attractive…but sexless….and I’m from that generation….I thought the same about Jackie too though….

    • perplexed says:

      I didn’t think this when I was a kid, because I was, well, a kid, but I can see it now as an adult. I do also think his look is very late 80s and 90s. I’m wondering how his looks would be perceived today…with the big hair. He was very preppy looking which fit with the style back then, but I can’t tell how preppy people are viewed today. He was very….immaculate looking at all times. Is there even a picture of him with facial hair? I still think he’s handsome though. But I can see how he’d be viewed as almost too..immaculate…for a grown adult woman.

      As an adult, I’ve begun to think his dad had more “something-something” even though his face was more grizzled.

      • Why? says:

        Yeh, jfk had a sexual energy and charisma which for me was lacking in jr. I thought he probably would’ve had the Clooney white hair thing going in his older years.

      • North of Boston says:

        That well-groomed look and that hair were sort of the style at that time. No doubt if he’d been born / grew up at a different time, his style in his 20’s would have been much different.

      • perplexed says:

        His style would have been different growing up in a different era, but I think that 80s look suited his features. I can’t tell if he’d look more ordinary with today’sstyling. I’m trying to picture how he’d do the Bieber cut, and I just can’t.

    • Fanny says:

      I felt that way sometimes. He was a little *too* perfect looking on occasion. And sometimes seemed a little dumb.

      But most of the time I thought he was super charming and beautiful and well deserving of his reputation.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      He was too beautiful,not what all women want to have as much as to look at

    • Lowrider says:

      It’s not just you. He was handsome but seemed dim…a bit slow.

    • GMonkey says:

      I was never sexually attracted to him. He was technically attractive, but he didn’t seem intelligent and I CANNOT deal with preppy style. I was a grunge girl in the 90s and preppy boys are John Hughes movie villain/Brett Kavanaugh nightmare fuel for me.

    • Sue Denim says:

      I met him once at a work event and was surprised to have that reaction too. I had always marveled at him from afar, like it was unbelievable someone so perfect inhabited the same earth I did (haha) but in person, he just lacked a certain spark, tho he was still incredibly handsome and was actually quite sweet. All of the women were dressed to the nines, knowing he’d be there, and he handled it all with grace. But yeah, handsome but not sexy. Maybe the sense of humor and general intelligence weren’t as strong in him as w his father or other more alluring guys? In retrospect too he seemed to have a death wish (I wonder if there was depression there?), and it’s just so sad for the Bessettes that he took such irresponsible risks that fateful flight…

  22. Jen says:

    I remember when their plane went missing on the way to the wedding and feeling an awful sense of dread. A missing plane never ends well. My mom and I were on the phone when we heard the news and we both cried, just like we did when Diana died. It felt like all the fabulous people were leaving. He would have had some seriously beautiful kids.

    • Deedee says:

      His death hit me so hard, it kind of surprised me how much I felt. Never felt that way with Diana. I was so hoping he would go into politics and run for President. I don’t know why. Maybe because my mom was such a big fan of Jackie’s so I grew up with the kennedys and their mystique in my own way.

      • 90sgirl says:

        I felt similar. I felt like someone hit me in my gut, when I heard the news the plane was missing and he died.

      • jwoolman says:

        I dunno. The Kennedy clan did a whole lot better with instilling the idea of public service than many others, but President Tweeter has made me lose any enthusiasm for Presidents who are born rich.

    • Hyacinth says:

      Yes. I remember the next morning turning on the news for updates, and of course the tv stayed on all day. My mom and sister were visiting my then-fiancé and me in our little rented beach bungalow. The landlord had come by to plant some palm trees and hollered into the living room, “Did they find ‘em yet?”. I followed whatever news came out about him and Carolyn and loved all the photos. When I went wedding dress shopping the next year, her sheath dress was my inspiration (even though I got something totally different as I couldn’t pull it off!). I guess it just takes me back to that time in life!

  23. Jb says:

    The more I read about the Kennedys the more I realize what a crock of shite the whole Camelot persona was. Drunks, womanizers, gamblers, mafia ties, and god good how they treated their own blood (lobotomy anyone). Not gonna lie, I ate up the idea as a kid and was crushed when jr died and his beautiful wife as well but as mentioned above, sounds like they’re we’re destined for divorce. Rich kids with privilege who become adults and are still lost despite having it “all”.

    • Becks1 says:

      It was actually kind of impressive how well they covered up all of that stuff, even in the 60s. I did read somewhere that a lot of the ugly details probably would have come out in 64 when he ran for re-election, but that obviously didn’t happen and instead we got Camelot.

    • madthinking says:

      You could say this about a lot of people who die. Death stops the bleeding and the person is stuck wherever they were in public opion. Two little kids without a father. Pictures etched in peoples mind. Princess Diana was great, but elevated after death too. I know some like to dredge up the bad past to clear things, but there is another group of people who think things should be left to rest if the person is dead and can’t defend themselves. This is how you get them perpetually stuck in usually a positive light.

    • Jegede says:


      People repeat this, but the fact is almost all the Kennedy scandals are from RFK’S side of the family.

      Every family has the good & the bad.

      For a super large family of god knows how many generations, it’s saying something that a big part of the scandals, are dominated by 1 side of the family.

      People barley hear about the Shrivers, Lawfords heck even Caroline Kennedy as super famous as she is, is absent from gossip pages..

      • jwoolman says:

        I don’t know how good a father RFK was, but his widow was mentally ill and mean. His children would have been better off raised by the proverbial wolves.

  24. olive says:

    Ethel sounds like the mother-in-law from hell and she wasn’t even Carolyn’s MIL! middling old sanctimonious biddy.

    • A says:

      Wasn’t there a rumour that JFK Jr waiting purposefully until Jackie Kennedy died to marry Carolyn Bessette, because he knew that she would never approve of Carolyn and call her a gold digging social climber?

  25. DS9 says:

    None of this surprises me.

    Carolyn was the epitome of generic 90’s era white girl pretty. The kind people find glamorous and attractive with very little effort on their part.

    But the public definition of what they wanted to see in idealized Americana was the life any of these people were living.

    I have no doubt they loved each other but I agree with the assessment above that they weren’t going to last.

  26. JanetFerber says:

    Still so sad to see their pictures. I remember the day they went missing and President Clinton sent out a plane to find them (the right decision then and now). Unspeakable tragedy. If only it had turned out differently.

  27. Digital Unicorn says:

    He def had the Kennedy looks and charisma but that’s about it, there has been many reports that he wasn’t too bright but could have ran with office with the right people around him. Their relationship seemed quite volatile but apparently he liked women that brought the drama, like his father and Uncle.

  28. Why? says:

    Wasn’t he just as much a cheater as his dad? He said he wanted to be a good man but he was apparently never faithful to any girlfriend. Sjp said his kisses were pleasant and madonna said it was like having a sex with a girl. Killed my lady boner for me.

    • perplexed says:

      I think he had too many options available to him. (Although I can’t tell if he was attracted to women who were actually low-maintenance and sort of smart. Maybe he would have fared better in marriage if he had gone that route instead).

      I actually thought he was in love with Daryl Hannah the most, but he couldn’t marry her because she was an actress, so….Carolyn Bessette was probably the next best thing (i.e tall, blonde, and NOT an actress). I think he had a certain type and never really deviated it from it. He clearly liked movie stars, so he married a lady who looked like a movie star but wasn’t actually one. She had an “appropriate” background.

      Maybe if he had lived today he could have married an actress like Prince Harry did. It’s weird to think now the barriers he had on who he could marry, and he wasn’t even royal.

    • holly hobby says:

      And I would never give any credit to what Madge says….

    • A says:

      I think he was. I’ve never seen anything concrete, but what I do remember (and this is from Caroline Radziwill’s autobiography) was that Carolyn and JFK Jr were always on and off in the time that they dated, and they dated for about five years.

    • perplexed says:

      I don’t think he was faithful to any of his girlfriends. I know Warren Beatty is used as an example of someone changing but I don’t know…..the Kennedys seems more fixed in their ways than other people. Ted Kennedy changed later on, but I also think he went through more life-reckoning incidents than the other Kennedys and that may have prompted a change in him when he married the second wife. But it took killing a woman in a. drunken accident for that to happen. Up until he crashed that plane, and, well, died I think JFK Jr. had had an easy life by comparison. He said he wanted to be a good man, which is why I have no idea why he’d fly a plane under those conditions with his wife and sister-in-law. Being a good person includes listening to advice that doesn’t kill people! The Kennedy recklessness took over, which makes me think he wouldn’t have changed much in terms of fidelity even if he had lived. That plane crash is unfortunately a defining part of his legacy now. JFK Jr. was a very handsome man with good manners who had a lot of lovely qualities, but the way he recklessly flew that plane does have some impact on how I view him now and whether he would have changed in his relationships to women.

  29. Darius says:

    JFK Jr was with his ex girlfriend two days before the crash, I don’t know about you, but married men who are happy don’t hit up exes.

  30. perplexed says:

    I think he got married because it was “time”. That’s what he was expected to do. Had he not been a Kennedy or Jackie had not been his mom, but born with the same looks, I think he would have stayed single forever. He had way too many female options open to him, and I think he liked that.

    • Neda says:

      But there’s only so many women you could be with. There’s bound to be the “one” that would change that.

      • perplexed says:

        Yeah, but he seemed like the type to get bored easily. Not everyone is built the same way, and I think he had a propensity towards whatever his dad had when it came to sex. I don’t think he was malicious, but he didn’t seem like the type who could be faithful despite his best intentions. Maybe he was worn down by trying to please his mom though. I also don’t know if a woman can change someone like a Kennedy…,they’re a little different from other men when it comes to women.

      • tcbc says:

        Less likely that any “one” could change that than he would get bored and simply marry whomever he was dating at the time as a matter of convenience.

      • North of Boston says:

        “he didn’t seem like the type who could be faithful despite his best intentions”

        People entirely get to choose whether or not to be faithful. Cheating on ones SO is not something that happens automatically and can’t be prevented. There are hundreds of choices a person has to make to get from sitting next to their SO at a restaurant/on the sofa at home to being naked alone with a different person. Some people may choose to just go on auto and slip slide all the way through those choices, but that itself is a choice.

      • windyriver says:

        @Neda and @ North of Boston – agree. Who thought it would ever happen to Warren Beatty? Easier to name women he didn’t hook up with. Already into his 50’s, so maybe you’d think, set in his ways – met Annette Bening, and that was it. Family man practically overnight, still together almost 30 years later.

        Kathy McKeon, Jackie’s assistant and part-time nanny, wrote Jackie’s Girl a few years ago. Knew John all his life, and she and her husband still worked for the family occasionally. Met Carolyn a year into the marriage. She’s reserved about her, but not unkind. Described her as different from John’s other women, hard to read. High strung, particularly where the paparazzi were concerned. John was worried about her, but also disappointed she didn’t share some of his interests. But he planned to work through their issues, and they were still married at the time of the crash.

        I think John really loved Carolyn, and married her because he though she was the “one”. But, in addition to their issues, his magazine George was in trouble, and his cousin Anthony Radziwill was terminally ill. So she could have been the one, but maybe the timing was off, and ultimately it wouldn’t have worked out.

        I don’t remember it, but according to Wikipedia, John did an editorial in George criticizing his cousins Michael and Joe II over their marital scandals. So maybe he wanted/hoped to follow a different path than the typical Kennedy male.

      • Christin says:

        @windyriver – He did write that editorial and it was covered by other media at the time. Some claimed that since Jackie tried to keep her kids at arm’s length from Robert’s kids, maybe John had a more balanced view of their self-created troubles. He definitely didn’t give them a blood-is-thicker-than-water pass in that “bad boys” editorial.

  31. Artemis says:

    When JFK Jr died my good friend had to go stay with I believe Julie…apparently he was still dating her when he died. My friend says he was. her friend (not sure if it was Julie but somehow that sounds familiar) was a WRECK apparently

    • 90sgirl says:

      Julie Baker, I saw her in NYC when she was dating John, before he married . She was beautiful and Jackie type look.
      I never believed the rumours that they reignited an affair, I think it was purely a friendship with Julie after he married Caroline.
      Julie was supposedly someone he could discuss his problems with. I never understood why he dumped her. It was said Jackie liked her.

      I’m in the minority but I also don’t believe the drug use Rumours.

  32. JanetFerber says:

    I still believe that if Jackie Kennedy had been alive, her son would not have died like that. She knew he had a wild streak in him and would never have stood for him becoming a pilot. I truly believe that.

  33. Beech says:

    JFK’s infidelities were an open secret during his administration. It was a gentlemen’s agreement among the press in that era. Things were not spelled out in the press in those days. I remembet one of LBJ’s aides was arrested for hitting on a police officer in a public restroom. A “morals charge.” I was in junior high at that time and asked a teacher what was a “morals charge.” I didn’t get an answer and wouldn’t have understood something like homosexuality. “Wait, a man asked another man to be his boyfriend?! Ewww!” It was years before things were exposed. Now we know the shape of 45’s penis.

    • A says:

      I mean, by all accounts, there were a lot of people who knew the shape of LBJ’s penis also. And, I guess, Clinton’s.

      What is it about the White House anyway?? I mean, obviously men like LBJ, JFK, Bill Clinton etc were all womanizers and stuff long before they assumed office. But why does this position attract so many folks of this stripe? I don’t believe these rumours, but for a long time people said that Kissinger and his wife were swingers. All of this almost makes Trump seem like he’s normal (for the benchmark of the position anyway).

      • North of Boston says:

        No, Trump does not seem normal. Were other president’s unfaithful to their wives? sure. But Trump is in a whole ‘nother league with his behavior.

        As far as why are so many of them like that? I guess that many people who rise to the top in politics have a giant ego and enjoy power and the fruits of that power. Many of them have been a big fish in their little ponds for years before aiming for the Presidency and probably have had years when very few people told them “no” about anything. If they came from a background of privilege, same thing. If they took chances to get ahead in politics in a big way, they probably don’t mind risk or novel situations and may even be drawn to them. Clandestine affairs have that in spades.

        Add all that to how power can attract people who just want to get in close to the flame, giving these dudes access to a range of willing participants, how real-world power/money can give power in interpersonal relationships, giving these dudes access to a range of unwilling participants and an entire Secret Service designed to get you in and out of places privately and safely and you’ve got a perfect storm for adulterous affairs.

      • A says:

        I’m honestly not sure I agree that Trump is in a whole other league with his behaviour, as far as womanizing and being unfaithful goes. He doesn’t care much for the decorum of his office, but there have been plenty of presidents and administrators in the White House who have behaved exceptionally poorly in their personal lives, and had reporters and journalists cover for them for years.

        Going back to the LBJ example, he literally saw nothing wrong with walking around the White House with his pants off and penis in full display. Just like you said, it was completely a power move for him to flash people, including his aides. JFK spent his whole life under the shadow of his own father, who was notorious for his affairs. It was undoubtedly something he saw as a marker for proving how much of a man and a leader he was. And it’s ultimately ironic, because it was Jackie Kennedy who wrote the story of his presidency that put him on the pedestal. She saved him when she would have been fully justified in not doing so.

        And then there are the rumours about Sy Hersh going to see Nixon’s wife in the hospital, where she had gone after having been punched by Nixon in the face, and how John Ehrlichman confirmed that this had “happened a few times.”

        I’m not bringing these up to normalize this type of behaviour, let alone normalize Trump’s behaviour. But plenty of presidents have gone far beyond the realm of simply being unfaithful, and that includes Trump.

      • jwoolman says:

        Maybe men are just not cut out for powerful political positions….

        Really. Men with power seem to so often go in this direction. There are exceptions, of course. But it’s so hard to figure out which ones really are not so afflicted.

        I have a radar about other things (Trump creeped me out big time years ago, so did Bill Cosby, and I knew something was wrong with Nixon just from hearing him on tv as a ten year old). But unfaithfulness to a wife is totally under that radar. It’s compartmentalized in a different way for some reason. Men who act this way are not necessarily bad at their jobs or even bad people overall, and JFK and Bill Clinton are examples of that.

        A documentary about a brothel pointed this out also – a lot of their clients were politicians. More than you would expect from their percentage of the population.

  34. carol lindsey says:

    Sometimes I wonder if Carolyn Bessette was borderline emotionally/verbally abusive to her husband. Or if their relationship was kinda mutually toxic and involved mutual unhealthy behaviors and borderline abuse toward eachother. I kinda got that vibe about their relationship – that they were both very emotionally immature, and Carolyn’s brand of emotional instability might have involved things like a bad temper, saying mean things, bossing around, being passive aggressive, etc. And then he was likely cheating on her which is pretty bad, so…

    She did have amazing style though. She seemed like the types of people you would find working at a fashion magazine or something – people who are either fully authentic and they know themselves, and so their style feels natural. Or the type of person who is just has an excellent instinct for what’s ‘coming up next’ in trends, and then becomes an early adopter or someone who epitomizes a specific style.

    • Tourmaline says:

      I always thought part of where things went wrong for her, insofar as it appears she was kind of miserable during her marriage, was that she quit working. For years before her marriage she was successful in the fashion industry, working for Calvin Klein and very much in that world. Then she dropped it all and was just John’s Wife for the almost 3 years they were married. Of course that was her choice to do so but it seems to have made her more lonely and isolated than she would have been had she maintained some kind of work.

      In Carole Radziwill’s book (which is very complimentary to Carolyn) she says that Carolyn was struggling with what to do with herself besides shopping and hanging with friends while John was enmeshed with running the magazine and was thinking of going back to school.

      • dlc says:

        That would suck. Your new husband is completely absorbed in his work and you’re home stressing about the paparazzi stalking you.

  35. Calcifer says:

    @perplexed You are so right about Carolyn’s casual dressing, that’s the part about her style which always fascinated me most. I remember a picture of her at Hyannis port dressed in a pair of black pants with white tennis shoes and a yellow rubber coat, her hair all wet from swimming, and I thought she looked just perfect! Later I read in Carole Radziwill’s book how Carolyn jokingly scolded her for wearing a particular brand of sneakers, which made me realize that Carolyn was probably very, very picky about her own casual clothes, only wearing items which really suited her taste. And she was great at putting together those items in the most casual of ways. She also had good taste when dressing up, but imho her dressed-up look was often a bit too severe with too muck black going on.

    • carol lindsey says:

      yep, I think that even though she mastered the ‘i dont care and I just thew this together without thinking’ minimalist/modern classic look, in reality, she probably really thought about her outfits and paid very close attention to the details.

  36. JRenee says:

    I shipped them hard, not gonna lie. I was so sad when they died, sadness turned to anger because he didn’t need to be flying in that weather..
    Her sister gets no fanfare, but her parents suffered a huge loss and it is often over shadowed 🙁

    • dlc says:

      I don’t think it was even the weather, he wasn’t certified for night flying. It is very easy to become disoriented, especially over the ocean. You can’t trust your eyesight, you have to trust the instruments.

    • Deedee says:

      The smog was really thick, so he was flying blind. He didn’t have the experience and didn’t trust his instruments.

  37. SJR says:

    Interesting to read all the comments. IMO, the Kennedy family is very interesting to read about and learn the generational history. Joe Kennedy was a fascinating person to me. He truly saw himself as the Kingmaker. For my generation, Joe, Jack, Bobby, Ted were all held up as role models. First Roman Catholic/Irish POTUS, etc. A lot of over 60 y/o people thought of JFK, Jr. as natural son and heir, he certainly would have been nominated for POTUS, and with his family wealth and connections would have had a good chance of winning. Many people in my age group identified with the Kennedy family, saw them as wealthy, educated, privileged, but doing good work as politicians. When JFK Jr. died along with his beautiful, young wife people that recalled the family tragedies felt a real sense of loss. “The Kennedy curse.”

    Even now, looking at photos of JFK, Jr. and Carolyn…young, gorgeous, educated, wealthy, celebrity if they wanted to be or not. JFK, Jr. was touted as American Royalty his entire life. And the paps, even now know that the Kennedy name still sells. True, gossip, lies, doesn’t matter. It sells.
    And, I agree that John was not qualified to pilot that plane. My God, the Bessette family lost 2 daughters, no amount of $$ makes that right. But, they had every right to sue and it was pilot error.

  38. tmbg says:

    Oh wow, the same stale stories we’ve heard for 20 years. Randy should shut it until he finds something actually new to report. I also take anything Bergin with a HUGE grain of salt.

    Read Carole R’s book if you want to know what Carolyn was really like.

  39. A says:

    Something that always strikes me about Carolyn Bessette is what Rosamund Pike said about her, and how in the process of her research for her role as Amy Dunne, she tried to find a clip of Carolyn speaking, and couldn’t. I don’t think there were ever really any interviews she gave. She never spoke publicly, not once over the course of her marriage, and so many people projected so much onto her.

    • Taffy Cinders says:

      There are brief (and I do mean brief) clips on a YouTube of Carolyn speaking. One is an old clip from her days at Calvin Klein, another is from Entertainment Tonight after the Fire & Ice Ball. Another is their last public appearance – a reporter asked her some inane question and she answered. I think there’s a whopping two minutes of her voice on record and that’s it! I think that’s what makes her so mysterious and interesting. She didn’t put herself out there at all. Even for the era, that was somewhat unusual which always made me believe she truly loved John.

      All the awful crap that has come out about Carolyn – like the coke abuse, affairs. etc., all came out after she died. The same people spreading those rumors were trying to be her friend or trying to get something from her. People lap it up because we love to hear awful things about The Beautiful People. I know she wasn’t a saint, but I still wince when I read comments like “she wasn’t that great, JFK jr could have done better.” That’s just some petty jealous mess right there. If he married Cindy Crawford, people still would have found fault with it.

      • A says:

        People felt such a degree of ownership over JFK Jr as a public figure, and I think they still do. A lot of it is rooted in nostalgia for the time. You see that a lot when all the discussion about the supermodels of the 90s vs. the Instamodels of today comes up. People feel protective over their memories, and that’s pretty normal. But for sure, people projected so much stuff onto Carolyn, and it was helped by the fact that she never publicly said anything, and never built herself up as a figure in that way. I think she tried to go about her life as she always had, and it must have been so weird to have people just dissecting her whole existence in that sort of way.

  40. SURFCHICK says:

    My husbands parents had a summer home four houses from the Kennedy home. We were on the bridge, in the Cape when that happened. It was that morning. There were police, helicopters, reporters, vans, photographers- everywhere. By the time we got to the house my MIL had it on the news. It was crazy that weekend. We were in shock. Gen Xers.

  41. Deeanna says:

    Oh, come on. He spent the last two nights off his life at a hotel. A hotel at which one of the books indicated he was “a regular”. The ex-girlfriend admits to being with him until after midnight and claimed she left and returned for breakfast with him the next morning =. R-I-I-I-ght!

    It was very sad that three young people died. The deaths were directly JFK Jr’s fault per the FTSB investigation. The full report can be read online at their website. He made poor decisions, not only in flying at all that evening, but during the flight itself prior to nosediving into the ocean. (He filed no flight plan and proceeded to fly into the airspace of a commercial jetliner on its landing approach to the New York airport. He failed to follow the lighted coastline as he should have, instead choosing to fly over dark ocean. Numerous rookie mistakes.)

    Carolyn did not look at all happy in photos. She probably wanted her life back. I doubt the marriage would have survived.

    • Rebecca says:

      Nope, JFK Jr wasn’t with an ex-girlfriend at a hotel. She made that up. I read all about her on an online forum. She hated Carolyn, and felt that Carolyn took JFK Jr from her. So after John Died, she wanted a way to associate with his name. The night she “supposedly spent with John”, John was elsewhere with his cousin Chris Lawford. Also after 20 years she is retracting the story of having breakfast with John. Smh!

  42. Calcifer says:

    There is actually a few seconds of interview with her, look up ‘Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy attends the 1998 Fire and Ice Ball’ on YouTube. She can also be heard saying one sentence in a clip called ‘Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and John F. Kennedy Jr. attend the Newman’s Own/George Awards’ on YouTube. These clips show her to be very charming and diplomatic, which is not surprising as she was working as a publicist for Calvin Klein before her marriage.

  43. Eeeeeeetrain says:

    My old roommate held a job akin to Carolyn’s at Calvin in the aughts (they actually share a name and similar appearance.) From my understanding she was plucked from a retail position to corporate for the explicit purpose of assisting A-listers…which always gave me an explicit sense of her magnetism.
    One of JFK’s longtime former girlfriends wrote a book…I did not read it but I read the excerpt and it tells you all you need to know about what caused the crash. He possessed a bravado that was thrilling and terrifying (obviously a genetic characteristic). As much as I stan for him there is no escaping the fact that reckless arrogance killed the three of them.
    Lastly…I’ve seen Caroline in my neighborhood and she is lovely. Like most celeb sightings I have experienced you notice the person before you actually realize who they are. I was in a CAR and she was walking and she still grabbed my attention. Very elegant woman.

    • Tourmalina says:

      I thought the photos of Carolyn from the years before she got married when she was at Calvin Klein show she was more beautiful then. She had great wavy golden brown hair, more natural brows, a really healthy look. She ended up looking pretty severe in my opinion with the bleached out white blonde hair and ultra plucked brows.

      About the book excerpt from JFKs ex– I think I know exactly what you mean. The near death kayak trip, right? Carolyn and her sister were not the first women he put in danger with his adventure seeking negligence. Also he gave that ex (Christina Haag) a bit of a hard time about having her own career as an actress. Not surprising that Carolyn dropped her job and became almost a recluse when they married.

      • celebs says:

        I don’t think Carolyn Bessette always photographed well but there was a photo of Carolyn with Jennifer Aniston at a Calvin Klein event and Jennifer looked like a Plain Jane next to Carolyn so Carolynmust have been drop dead gorgeous in person.

  44. Alexis says:

    @celebs: I disagree. They both look pretty and intriguing in that photo. Just completely different facial structures.

  45. Karen says:

    Bergins don’t need to do anything for money.

  46. perplexed says:

    Style-wise she looked she looked like she had a good sense of herself, like she picked out things that SHE truly liked rather than following what other people were telling her to wear (i.e Kardashian-wannabes). I think that’s why she was beautiful — it wasn’t just based on features, but a certain self-possession. The icons of style have that quality, I suppose.

    I do think her look is hard to achieve though. I think you basically have to look like her to get it right. And, no, I don’t think everybody has to look like her. But I do think she was beautiful. I do think it’s a little weird that Gwyneth Paltrow thought she could duplicate Carolyn’s look — they’re both blonde and tall, but face-wise they don’t really look alike. And Carolyn never talked publicly. Whereas Gwyneth wouldn’t stop blabbing. Part of Carolyn’s allure is that she went about her business like a glamorous person but without the self-promotion that type of life usually involves.

  47. Emby says:

    He was the most famous of a set of terribly rich and privileged rich kids partying in NYC in th EIGHTIES.

    There is no way HE needed HER to learn about cocaine.

  48. Mari says:

    I read a memoir by Carole Radziwell and she talked in length about her relationship with JFK Jr. and his wife Carolyn. She really did have a hard time with the paparazzi and that’s why she held off on marrying him for so long. They also did fight quite a bit and she didn’t go into detail but it was a strain on caroline being with someone who was so high stature in the press. Carole even had to help her with the clothing issue and they planned that caroline would wear the same clothes for like a week or something just to cut down on the pictures in the press(it didn’t work of course). Actually now that I think about it, I would recommend everyone read that memoir because I happened to grab it in highschool at the local grocery store and it was fascinating! it explained a lot about all the pictures I used to see in the National Enquirer as a girl.