Mimi Alford, now 69, has claimed she had an affair with President John F. Kennedy while a 19-year-old White House intern. In Alford’s book, Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath, set to be published by Random House on Wednesday, the now-grandmother recalls intimate details of the alleged affair, including a claim that he took her virginity in First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s bedroom in 1962.
According to early excerpts published by the New York Post, Alford says the President’s interactions with her ran the gamut from affectionate to dismissive. Among other anecdotes, Alford says Kennedy cried into her arms after losing his newborn child in 1963, asked her to perform sexual acts on an aide in the pool while he watched and telephoned her under the pseudonym “Michael Carter” after she went back to school at Wheaton College in Massachusetts.
Following the released excerpts, NBC lined up an interview, above, with Alford, which will air in full on Wednesday. The retired New York City church administrator told Meredith Vieira she couldn’t resist the power of the “unbelievably handsome” 45-year-old. “The fact that I was being desired by the most famous and powerful man in America only amplified my feelings to the point where resistance was out of the question. That’s why I didn’t say no to the president,” Alford says in her memoir.
Back then, the media also had a “code of silence” and the extramarital affairs didn’t get nearly the attention they do today, according to People‘s interview with Robert Dallek, author of An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy 1917-1963.
“Having a tryst with a 19-year-old doesn’t speak all that well of [JFK's] judgment, but it does speak to the difference of the media in his day. The media of the 1960s was not going to reveal these personal tangles of his sex life. The media today is very different.”
Dallek’s biography actually acted as a catalyst for Alford. NBC reports that Alford did not want to go public until the biography mentioned the affair and the New York Daily News tracked her down. So far, there has been no response from the Kennedy family.