The Kennedy Sex Scandals
July 8, 2003
Someday a major university Harvard comes to
mind should publish The Encyclopedia of Kennedy Sex
Scandals. It would fill more volumes than The Encyclopedia
Of course this project will have
to wait until the dust settles. New Kennedy scandals keep happening at a
pace that defies cataloguing, even as old ones come to light.
John Kennedy has been dead
nearly forty years, but were still learning fresh details of his sex
life, not to mention his medical history. About the only drug he
didnt take, or need, was Viagra. On November 22, 1963, he was only
just beginning to make headlines. A new biography reveals that he was
frolicking, to use the technical journalistic term, with a
young White House intern during his presidency.
I heard rumors about
Kennedys adulteries while he was president, but of course I
didnt believe them, any more than I would have believed someone
who told me that Shakespeare didnt write those plays. It was too
fantastic. Nutty, even.
Another new book reports that
John Kennedy Jr.s marriage was pretty rocky at the time of his
death four years ago. That I can believe. Its sad, because this is the
only Kennedy Ive ever heard nice gossip about: a friend who knew
him tells me he was a very decent young man, unlike most of the rude and
bullying boors who compose the family often described as
And another man, no longer
young, has recently claimed to be President Kennedys illegitimate
son. Am I right? Im losing track. Thats why we need an
encyclopedia. The K volume might be fatter than all the others put
The latest episode concerns
Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, daughter of Bobby Kennedy and wife of the son of
New Yorks former governor Mario Cuomo. Her marriage has split up,
allegedly, as we journalists say, over her affair with a
married man, who sort of denies it. (The cad has gone back to his wife.)
This is a
departure from precedent. In the Kennedy family its always been
the men who have played around, or frolicked with
interns, actresses, gangsters molls, ambassadors wives,
babysitters, waitresses, Marilyn Monroe, Fiddle, and Faddle while
the Kennedy women have largely behaved themselves, like good Irish girls.
It seems like only yesterday
when Kerry married Andrew. I happened to pass the wedding in Washington
while it was in progress; you couldnt get close to the church
because of all the police. As I gawked, who should step out of the church
but Arnold Schwarzenegger with another man, taking a break from the
ceremony. Arnold lit a fat cigar and I remember thinking he was wearing
the biggest tuxedo Id ever seen. I wanted to compliment his tailor.
doing here? I wondered; then I remembered that he was married to
a Kennedy girl, Maria Shriver. At the time I didnt realize I was
looking at a possible future governor of California.
This is as good a time as any to
mention that Terminator 3 is a real stinker. I blame the
script and the director; Arnold gives his usual nuanced character portrayal
of the robot, capturing all the pathos of a machine that realizes its
of obsolete design. Critics may scoff, but I cant see
John Gielgud in his prime handling the role any better than Arnold does.
But I digress.
Anyway, I respect the
Kennedys privacy, if they still have any. But if I could say one thing
to Kerry, it would be this: It seems to me that if Arnold Schwarzenegger
and Im not going to spell it again shows up for your
wedding, you have a special obligation to try to make the marriage work.
Ill leave it at that.
Tragedy has dogged the Kennedy
family. It claimed three of the four sons of the patriarch, Joseph Kennedy
Joe Jr., Jack, and Bobby passing over only (wouldnt
you know) Teddy, before stalking the next generation. I wonder if even
Arnolds tailor would be equal to the challenge of Teddy. It would be
like making a tuxedo for an especially corpulent walrus.
Yet in his day, by all accounts,
Teddy was especially generous in sowing the Kennedy seed hither and yond
and then some. Sociobiologists might say that the Kennedy genes were
urgently seeking to replicate themselves. I prefer to say that the Kennedys
just like to frolic.