Mimi Alford, former intern for President John F Kennedy in 1962, shares explosive details of her affair with the President in her new book ‘Once Upon a Secret.’ Her stories from her summer as an intern in Washington DC shed light on some of JFK’s most private, and most undesirable, moments.
Cynthia Fagen, writing for the New York Post, gives an overview of Alford’s stories about her time spent not only with Kennedy, but also those closest to him. As a 19 year old intern, Alford was invited to a midday swim at the White House pool where Kennedy often swam to help relieve his chronic back pain.
Alford swam and was introduced personally to Kennedy during the swim. Later that day, the new intern was invited by JFK’s “first friend” Dave Powers to an after-work party. Kennedy took Alford for a private tour of the White House, where they would share their first intimate encounter in Jackie Kennedy’s bedroom.
“I noticed he was moving closer and closer. I could feel his breath on my neck. He put his hand on my shoulder,” writes Alford. Ultimately, she lost her virginity to Kennedy that day in Jackie’s bedroom, thus beginning the affair that would last until the week before the President was assassinated in 1963.
The following week, Alford was invited over again for another swim, and would later have relations with the President. Alford writes how she found it next to impossible to resist the man and the power of President Kennedy.
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Though Alford would sometimes spend the night with Kennedy, she remembers there still being a palpable distance between the two of them.
“There was always a layer of reserve between us, which may explain why we never kissed,” she writes.
“The wide gulf between us — the age, the power, the experience — guaranteed that our affair wouldn’t evolve into anything more serious.”
As his mistress, Alford was also privy to some of the more political situations that would come to define Kennedy’s short-lived presidency. She writes how she told JFK about having met then Vice President Lyndon Johnson, to which Kennedy replied “Stay away from him,” presumably afraid that Johnson would use the affair as black mail.
Later, after Alford had returned to school in Massachusetts, she continued her visits with JFK, who ensured that her travel arrangements were taken care of under his pseudonym Michael Carter. During one of her visits, JFK was at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Kennedy said to Alford, “I’d rather have my children red than dead,” an explosive amount of insight into the now famous situation
Even later, Alford shared Kennedy’s grief over the death of his and Jackie’s son, Patrick.
Alford recounts several other situations during her time as his mistress, including JFK’s use of recreational drugs, and Alford being persuaded to perform oral sex on David Powers.
Alford last met with JFK just a week before his assassination in November 1963. Upon their meeting, “He took me in his arms for a long embrace and said, ‘I wish you were coming with me to Texas.’ And then he added, ‘I’ll call you when I get back.’ I was overcome with sudden sadness. ‘Remember, Mr. President, I’m getting married.’
Alford was engaged to her college sweetheart at the time and preparing for her wedding.
“‘I know that,’ he said, and shrugged. ‘But I’ll call you anyway.’”
JFK’s wife Jackie remained resiliently mum about her husband’s hotly rumored affairs after his death. While she admitted she knew there were some women on the side, she never publicly offered anymore details.
“The governing factor behind these calls, of course, was the presence — or, more accurately, the absence — of Mrs. Kennedy,” wrote Alford about the dynamic of the affair.
Mimi Alford’s book ‘Once Upon an Affair: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath” is on sale now.