Aug. 4, 2000 -- U.S. President John F. Kennedy, whose sexual exploits became public knowledge only long after his death, had a brief tryst with screen siren Marlene Dietrich in the White House in 1962, according to the journals of a notedcritic published in The New Yorker magazine.
Dietrich, some 20 years Kennedy’s senior, told the story ofher alleged White House assignation with the president to thelate critic Kenneth Tynan, who recorded it in his journals,excerpts of which were published in The New Yorker.
‘It Was All Over Sweetly’
“I hope you aren’t in a hurry,” Dietrich quoted Kennedy assaying when the German actress arrived after accepting aninvitation for drinks at the White House, according to The NewYorker.
Dietrich, according to Tynan’s journal entry from April 4,1971, replied that, in fact, she was in a hurry, as “2,000 Jewswere waiting to give her a plaque at 7 p.m., and it was now6:30.”
“That doesn’t give us much time, does it?” Kennedy said,to which Dietrich replied, “No, Jack, I guess it doesn’t.”
“It was all over sweetly and very soon,” Tynan recounted,quoting Dietrich as telling him, “And then he went to sleep. Ilooked at my watch and it was 6:50.”
Dietrich said she shook Kennedy awake “because I didn’tknow my way around the place, and I couldn’t just call for acab.” With that the president, clad only in a towel, led theglamorous actress to an elevator, telling the elevator operatorto get her a car to the hotel for her scheduled appearance.
As she departed, Dietrich said Kennedy asked her “just onething. … Did you ever make it with my father?”
Joseph P. Kennedy was friends with Dietrich during the 1930sand had a well-documented affair with another Hollywood siren,Gloria Swanson.
“‘No Jack,’ I answered truthfully, ‘I never did,’” Dietrich said, according to The New Yorker.
“‘Well,’ he said, ‘that’s one place I’m in first.’ Then thelift door closed and I never saw him again.”