When I first heard another alleged JFK mistress had come out with a tell-all memoir, I was thinking, "Uh huh, OK, so the nation's 35th president was a horndog, tell us something we haven't heard a million times before." And then the details of Mimi Alford's story were revealed. And suddenly we're dealing with allegations that President John F. Kennedy was not just your typical cheating husband.
In Once Upon a Secret: My Affair With President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath, the former Mimi Beardsley says JFK took her virginity when she was a 19-year-old intern in the White House. They allegedly did the deed in First Lady Jackie Kennedy's bedroom. And then things get really twisted.
The woman claiming to have been the president's teen mistress says he forced her to perform oral sex on an aide while he -- the President of the United States -- stood by and watched. Another time, she says, he tried to make her "take care" of younger brother (and future Senator) Ted Kennedy, although Alford apparently refused.
Folks, this is not just a husband stepping out on his wife, which in and of itself is bad enough from an ethical standpoint. If what Alford is saying is true -- and I hope for her sake she is because libelling a dead president is bound to get you in all kinds of trouble -- our second-youngest president was sexually abusive. And what's more, as her boss, it sounds an awful lot like Kennedy was grossly abusing his position of power -- in this case the office of president of the United States -- to manipulate a young girl.
Under the definitions of rape provided by the National Center for Victims of Crime, a man who forced a woman to perform oral sex may well merit a sexual assault charge. Which is what makes these allegations so serious. You don't mess around with the facts on something this big, certainly not in relation to a president.
I don't know about you, but I'm OK with a president who may or may not have been a real jerk as long as he was doing his job. I have voted for many people over the years who I thought were good for the position, but who I would not personally want to spend any time with. But I'm NOT OK with any president who would commit a crime while in office.
If these allegations stand up, they could do more to tarnish the image of John F. Kennedy than any of the (numerous) shockers we've had in the nearly 50 years since his assassination. The question is whether or not people will believe them. Me; I'm hoping they're not true.
Do you believe Mimi Alford is telling the truth? How does it affect your view of JFK's presidency?
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