Marion Beardsley was brought up on a New Jersey farm, in the kind of farmhouse that had seven fireplaces and a ballroom. She describes life as a debutante, attending Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Conn., where in 1961 she had the idea of interviewing a famous alumna, or “Ancient”: Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.
Well, she made it to the White House, as an intern in the press office when she was nineteen. One day, she was taking a swim in the White House pool, when Kennedy swam up, introduced himself (like that was necessary!) and later invited her for after work drinks.
He gave her a private tour of the house and seduced her in “Mrs. Kennedys room.”It was her first experience, and she was in shock. He was casual about it. But it was the beginning of an 18 month affair, during which she only called him Mr. President.
Today, Mimi, in her late sixties, has written a book about her alleged affair with President Kennedy. Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy. In it she says she felt overpowered that he (Kennedy) had chosen her. She admits, “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.”
She married Tony Fahnestock even after he learned about her betrayal. They stayed married for more than 20 years. They had two daughters, but divorced in 1989, 26 years later. She later married Richard Alford.
She and JFK continued seeing each other in the months just after her engagement and just before his death, though their sexual relationship had ceased. It was “proof that I wasn’t just a plaything to him, that he enjoyed my company as a friend,” she writes, but adds, “Perhaps I’m flattering myself.”