“It was exciting. It was glamorous. It was fun.” That is how Mimi Beardsley Fahenstock Alford described her relationship with President John F. Kennedy on the NBC news show Rock Central with Brian Williams.
NBC devoted the entire program to Meredith Vieira’s interview with the former Rumson, New Jersey debutant who claims to have had a 18-month long liaison with Kennedy while she was an intern at the White House. The airing of the show coincided with the release of Alford’s book, “Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath.”
The affair first came to light in a 2003 biography of JFK, but author Robert Dallek did not identify Alford by name. However, the Daily News found Alford that same year but at that time she denied that the affair took place.
Now, the sometime tearied-eyed Alford, shared intimate details of her time with 45-year old president, including taking baths together while playing with rubber ducks, spending nights at the White House while Mrs. Kennedy was away, and being by his side during the Cuban missile crisis.
According to Alford, on her fourth day as an intern, Kennedy confidant and aide Dave Powers invited her for a lunch-time swim in the White House’s heated, indoor pool. There she found two other young, female White House staffers and soon after, Kennedy arrived.
“It all seem very natural,” said Alford. “Everyone was very friendly, then we all dried off and went back to work.”
That same day she received another call from Powers, this time inviting her to a gathering in the White House residence for a welcome for new staff. At that time, Kennedy approached Alford.
“The President came over to me and asked me if I wanted to take a tour of the second floor of the White House,” she recalled.
Kennedy escorted the 19-year old through the rooms that Jacqueline Kennedy had recently redecorated and were featured in a televised tour of the White House.
“The last room we went into was a bedroom,” said Alford. “I learned later that it was Mrs. Kennedy’s bedroom.”
It was at that time that Alford and the President first became intimate.
“He put his hands on my shoulders and sort of guided me to the edge of the bed,” she told Vieira. “ I think he said, ‘Is this alright?’ I really did not know what was about to happen…what did happen is that I lost my virginity right there.”
Alford recalled Kennedy as a fun-loving person who enjoyed being silly.
“The President was very boyish and playful with me,” she said. “He had a collection of little rubber ducks, and we had races with the ducks in the bathtub… he was not being president when he was with me.”
Alford also remembered that Kennedy taught her to cook eggs and give him special hair massages.