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What Was SO Shocking in the Alleged Affair of Jackie and Bobby Kennedy?

Updated on February 16, 2018
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History is what we know from written texts. That alone does not make them true but also it does not make them any lesser.

Bobby gazing deep into the eyes of Jackie while at dinner.
Bobby gazing deep into the eyes of Jackie while at dinner.

"Actually, Bobby seems to show more romantic interest in me than Jack does..." Jackie

The nature of polygamy that existed in Kennedy's can make all the world gasp. It would be an understatement to say they had strange familial love going on over there. The picture-perfect Camelot painted by the media was anything but perfect. Most of the people by now are aware of John F. Kennedy's famous sexual conquests like Marilyn Monroe. But lesser people are aware of the fact that demure and apparently chaste Jackie Kennedy was farther from imagination. She was the most fascinating women of the previous century. She captured the imagination of a nation. She was the common agreement in the likeness of men and women. The former couldn't resist her and later emulated her.

Despite all this charm, beauty and intellect there was something hugely missing in her life. Romance. I know it might sound strange to speak for the most famous couple of the past century but regardless it is true. There was no concrete romance between J.F.K and Jack. Their relationship had many issues, like troublesome philandering habits of J.F.K, miscarriages etc. as claimed by many books. But the most troubling was the lack of romance in the first place. As confessed by Jackie Kennedy in her diary before marrying then senator Jack Kennedy, "Jack and I had a few romantic moments. He has never yet told me that he loves me. As for his family, they are a pack of barbarians except for Joe"
She had harbored strange feelings for the Kennedy clan and understandably so, she has quoted "Actually, Bobby seems to show more romantic interest in me than Jack does…and Teddy lusts after me like a lovesick puppy dog. So far I have avoided being alone with Bobby. I think if I went out alone on a boat with him, he’d rape me."
This quote got me interested in her strange situation. The two younger brothers of Jack Kennedy Bobby and Teddy were lusting after her when John seemed merely interested in her. She was without a doubt attracted towards John Kennedy but wasn't in much awe of him like other societal women were. Joe Kennedy, father of John Kennedy realized that Jackie could be good for his son's reputation and pushed him to propose. This proposal occurred over a phone call when she was in abroad. And so this false marriage began, which Jackie wanted to work initially but instances after instances of John's womanizing demotivated and crushed her hope. She wanted out, only a year after. But this concerned Joe Kennedy, more than it did John himself, he wanted to put his son in the Whitehouse and for that, he required to have a squeaky-clean image, not of this serial womanizer. So he offered her a settlement of 1 million dollars to stay in the marriage. She countered his settlement by saying it would rise to 20 million dollars if Jack brought home some venereal disease from one of his sluts. There was a definite rage in her, and despise for the actions of her husbands, but like all the women in aristocratic society, she learned to live with it.


Backward Glance of Bobby Kennedy as Jackie Kennedy reciprocates with a smile.
Backward Glance of Bobby Kennedy as Jackie Kennedy reciprocates with a smile. | Source

There were no signs of intimacy between Jack and Jackie. Jackie felt stuck in her marriage and even considered suicide as a way out.

I tried hard to believe in this Camelot or at least in the fact they both loved each other despite their differences. But what I got after looking thousands of images and watching several videos of them that there was no intimacy between them. When you harbor romantic interest towards a certain person, you have no problems getting intimate with them, even in public spaces, there should have some photographs of them looking in each other's eyes, smiling and such. But to shock me those photographs existed between Bobby and Jackie. Their marriage was troubled with many issues like Jack's shenanigans, miscarriages, Jack's health problems, lack of communication, on top of it all there was no romance that tied them together. Jack Kennedy despite his flaws was a very caring person, his unsatisfied libido was a result of many steroid injections that he had to take to treat Addison's disease.

Jackie did try to hurt him in her ways as a payback for his infidelity. She had a taste for the finest things and caused J.F.K headaches for the number of bills she cost him buying lavish things. But, then again she could be excused for that. Love doesn't last forever but diamonds do.

But that wasn't all. She had her own casual flings with certain men while in the white house. If the claims of the books were to be believed. She also met her second husband, richest man at that time in the world, Aristotle Onassis, who was courting her sister Lee Radziwill at the time. So to believe the claims that she was totally innocent in this institution of marriage would we far-fetched.

She wasn't a perfect history character but she was real. She had a sense of humor, style and a feel for life. She was very much an aristocrat, craving the finest things but she was also a girl wanting to paint a perfect life for her, but she was crushed in that conquest of her. Her married life with Kennedy was so below the expectations that she could not see herself married to him for life.

Even sources claim that she wanted to divorce him in 1963, before of course the tragedy occured. But she changed after that tragedy. Struck in the grief, free from her Camelot prison in the most unexpected way, she began a passionate love affair with Bobby Kennedy. Bobby was very much in love with her from the beginning, she was there for her in her miscarriage when John was vacationing. She might have given into his advances afterward. They both found comfort in each other's arms while dealing with the harsh reality of J.F.Ks death. This might have been on the basis of true love. She might have found love after the death of her husband but in the strangest situation. This is a situation when you couldn't be happy for either of them. This was almost self-destructive up to a point. For Jackie, it was love and romance she might have craved for so long but wrapped in this brother-in-law relation that few would approve of.

In a phone call to McSorley, Jackie confessed she was better because ‘love had entered my life in a way I never expected’. ‘It isn’t a love of which the Catholic Church would approve. In fact, the love I’m experiencing now would be called ungodly in the eyes of the Church. I wouldn’t even dare to confess it to you’. She was seeing Bobby Kennedy almost every day at this point in time.



The Camelot was painted by the media but there is no human being perfect enough to live up to its characters. The real characters of history have their own flaws, struggles, and tragedies. Jackie's life was a culmination of all. She didn't predict herself becoming this center of attention for a century. She might have had many aspirations in her life that were crushed due to the circumstances, her life shaped her decisions. It is easier to judge from the outside when you are not yourself in the shoes of the person.

But regardless of it all, she would always stay the beloved first lady, the icon of the 20th century. These revelations only add more layers of complexity to the two-dimensional version we see in the photographs. And for me, it did complete to a certain extent, the real story of Camelot. For I could never believe that any woman would sit there smiling while cheated on multiple of times. Their story still remains one of heartbreak, tragedy, and misfortunes. But instead of it all, there is a silver lining, for their dynasty survived in their grandchildren. This is what I learned from researching about her, it is always about moving forward.

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    • Sharlee01 profile image

      Sharlee 

      9 months ago

      If it is true, I am not shocked because people are very human, and this woman had such a tragic event in her life. I would thin he needed to reach out for comfort.

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