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Jackie Kennedy 'Wasn't Naïve' of JFK Affairs & Wanted to Divorce Twice Though Stayed Married Until His Passing

Junie Sihlangu
Feb 13, 2022
12:20 A.M.
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Besides having numerous affairs with other women while married to Jackie Kennedy, John F. Kennedy failed to be there for his wife after losing someone very special. She had to grieve alone.

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According to a February 2018 The Washington Post article, John F. Kennedy met Jacqueline Lee "Jackie" Bouvier in the spring of 1951. At the time, a friend of John's, journalist Charles Bartlett, decided, alongside his wife Martha, to throw a dinner party.

The event was held at their rental Georgetown home. The Bartlett's were assisted by Kennedy family patriarch Joseph Kennedy to host the party so John and Jackie could meet.

Jackie Onassis in an image taken on December 22, 1969, Marilyn Monroe at her California home in May 1953, and US President John F. Kennedy during a Washington Senators baseball game in Washington DC, early 1960s | Photos: David Cairns/Express & Alfred Eisenstaedt/Pix Inc./The Life Picture Collection & Robert Riger/Getty Images

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Only eight people were invited, and John and Jackie were introduced, not knowing they would become husband and wife. The guests spent the night drinking cocktails, eating chicken casserole, and playing a game of charades as Jackie and John clicked, with the future president reportedly stating:

“I’ve never met anyone like her.”

Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy escorts his bride Jacqueline Lee Bouvier shortly after their wedding ceremony on September 12, 1953, at Newport, Rhode Island | Photo: Keystone/Getty Images

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According to Edward Klein's book "All Too Human: The Love Story of Jack and Jackie." The junior senator and Jackie ended up dating.

TYING THE KNOT

After being together for two years, John proposed with a Van Cleef & Arpels ring set. The jewelry he used for his proposal sported a 2.88-carat diamond and 2.84-carat emerald.

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The couple got married on September 12, 1953, in Newport, Rhode Island, in the social event of the season. They invited over 800 guests, including diplomats, senators, and other essential guests.

The wedding ceremony was held at St. Mary's Church. Jackie was dressed in an ivory silk portrait-neckline dress that sported a bouffant skirt (designed by Ann Lowe) and consisted of 50 yards of fabric and an heirloom rose point lace veil.

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WELCOMING CHILDREN

During their marriage, Jackie and John welcomed four children. Their first daughter Arabella was stillborn in 1956 before another one, Caroline, was born in 1957, and their son John Jr. was welcomed in 1960.

In 1963, the 35th President of the US and his first lady welcomed another son, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy. Sadly, Patrick never survived after birth and only lived for two days before death.   

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JFK'S MISTRESSES

While married to Jackie for ten years, John allegedly had several affairs. In August 2021, after several women had claimed they'd dated the president, Diana de Vegh came forward alleging to have had an affair with John.

De Vegh claimed they'd had a relationship when she was 20 years old. Another person who allegedly dated the politician while he was married was Judith Exner, who claimed to have aborted the president's child!

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There were also famous women, like the speculated relationship with renowned singer and actress Marilyn Monroe. Rumors about a fling between the two surfaced in May 1962 when she performed her iconic "Happy Birthday" rendition for John at a Madison Square Garden fundraiser.

Other women who allegedly cheated with Jackie's husband included Mary Pinchot Meyer, Jill Cowan, Priscilla Wear, and many more. However, the first lady wasn't clueless about what her husband was doing.

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JACKIE "WASN'T NAIVE"

Author of the book "Jackie, Janet, and Lee," J. Randy Taraborrelli, claimed Jackie knew a lot about her husband's shenanigans. The author told People that some senators and other people who worked for John were aware of Jackie's conversations with him, making it clear she knew about the affairs.

Taraborrelli said the first lady "wasn't naïve" to what her husband was doing. Jackie allegedly told John that she was sick of him cheating on her and didn't like it.

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"A MARRIAGE OF ITS TIME"

The author revealed that Jackie considered divorcing John on two occasions over his infidelities in the book. However, her sister Lee Radziwill and mother, Janet, convinced her otherwise on both occasions.

The first time the first lady mentioned divorce to her family was in 1956. This happened after giving birth to a stillborn Arabella while John was on a Mediterranean cruise and didn't bother joining her to give Jackie support while she grieved.

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Radziwill discouraged her sister by noting how their father had cheated on their mother, and things still worked out between them. Janet wasn't pleased with her son-in-law's behavior, but she thought tolerating the affairs was the price her daughter had to pay for marrying a powerful and wealthy man.

Jackie even mentioned how she didn't even trust her husband anymore. However, Janet snapped at her daughter and brushed her concerns away by informing her that trust was for the weak because she wanted Jackie to be a "strong woman."

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Pamela Keogh, author of "Jackie Style," speculated that Jackie's views on marriage were informed by the indiscretions of her Wall Street stockbroker father, John Bouvier. Keogh believed the first lady came from a time when cheating was what men did and was accepted.

A close family friend previously explained it as such to People, "It was a marriage of its time." The source said what was important was that John returned to his wife at the end of the day, and the couple loved each other.

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JACKIE WASN'T A SAINT

Despite the first lady's mentions of wanting a divorce, she allegedly wasn't as squeaky clean as she pretended to be. Some of her indiscretions were written about in the book "Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, A Life Beyond Her Wildest Dreams."

His wife [Jackie Kennedy] refused to remove her pink Chanel suit that was stained with her husband's [John F. Kennedy] blood.

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She allegedly had affairs with Warren Beatty, Paul Newman, Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, and Gregory Peck. Jackie also reportedly had relationships with actors Marlon Brando and William Holden.

In Brando's 1999 autobiography, "Songs My Mother Taught Me," he wrote about a night of heavy drinking in 1964 at the Jockey Club in Washington, DC. The press swarmed him and Jackie, forcing them to escape out the back door to her house.

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John's wife allegedly had numerous one-night stands and affairs while they were married. She initially embarked on these as revenge against her cheating husband but being hurt by his affairs led her to try to find love and support in the arms of other men.

LIFE AFTER JFK

Sadly, Jackie lost her husband on November 22, 1963, when he was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald while riding in an open-topped car. His wife was by his side during that Dallas presidential motorcade.

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His wife refused to remove her pink Chanel suit stained with her husband's blood. She did, however, remove her wedding ring and put it on John's finger so he could be buried with it at Arlington National Cemetery.

On October 20, 1968, five years after John's assassination, Jackie remarried Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis. However, the former first lady became a widow again in 1975, when Onassis died of respiratory failure.

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