She mysteriously went away for a week and then Marilyn was dead. Divorce was social ruin for a woman in those days. JFK supposedly promised to marry Marilyn and she was happy before she died. Jackie allegedly said something like ‘I want that woman gone before I get back’ and she was. Then to pay for it, she later married yet another mobster. She was also an adulteress herself.
Born in Southampton, N.Y. on July 28, 1929 to well-heeled parents, the former first lady didn’t always shy away from the spotlight. During the first year of John F. Kennedy’s presidency in 1961, Jackie “made over the White House into a living stage,” according to journalist Hugh Sidey (per The New York Times). In 1962, 56 million people watched Jackie’s Emmy-winning televised tour of the revamped White House, an event that found her trotting out a “Minerva clock and candelabra” and a mirror that belonged to George Washington. Meanwhile, her singular style — pillbox hats, Chanel, and Givenchy — turned Jackie into a fashion icon.
The word “snarky” doesn’t spring to mind when thinking of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, but there could be real bite beneath her poise and primness. Once questioned about “what she fed her German Shepherd,” Jackie reportedly replied: “Reporters.” In 1966, an acquaintance allegedly asked Jackie if she’d bumped into “a tiny, thin, gay interior decorator” who’d helped arrange her apartment (per The New York Times). Jackie reportedly responded: “Oh yes. I did see him the other day. I almost stepped on him in the elevator.”
Her marriage to Aristotle — a man The Telegraph described as “short, pugnacious, but extremely wealthy” — wasn’t a particularly happy one. According to Time, Aristotle nicknamed his wife “The Widow.” After his 24-year-old son Alexander died following a 1973 plane crash, Aristotle reportedly called her “The Witch.” Time reported that Aristotle was “deeply superstitious” and irrationally “blamed her for the loss that broke his heart.”
The book claims Jackie was at her wit’s end over JFK’s alleged affairs, and Monroe’s notoriously sultry “Happy Birthday Mr. President” roundelay supposedly proved to be the breaking point. Jackie’s father-in-law, Joe Kennedy, reportedly “offered” to give her “a check for one million dollars” to prevent the divorce (per the Daily Mail). If the book can be believed, Jackie told Joe that amount would need to be kicked up to “twenty million dollars” if JFK happened to “[bring] home any venereal disease.”
Then why kill Marilyn?
To what extent did Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Marilyn Monroe know one another, if at all? In his 2013 book, These Few Precious Days: The Final Year of Jack with Jackie, author Christopher Andersen claims they were bonafide romantic rivals who indulged in at least one verbal sparring match. Andersen writes that Jackie perceived Monroe as a credible threat and “a loose cannon” — someone who could “go public” with her alleged JFK affair and “destroy her marriage” with the dirt (per The Telegraph). If there’s any credence to this story, perhaps Jackie had good reason to be concerned.
According to Andersen, Monroe was prone to asking her pals: “Can’t you just see me as first lady?”
Elsewhere in the book, Andersen claims Monroe rang up Jackie at the White House one fateful evening and let her know all about the affair. According to Andersen, Monroe told Jackie her husband was eager to abandon his family and embark on “a new life” with her (via Inside Edition). Unfazed by this scenario, Jackie reportedly responded with withering sarcasm:
“Marilyn, you’ll marry Jack. That’s great. And you’ll move into the White House and you’ll assume the responsibilities of First Lady, and I’ll move out and you’ll have all the problems.”
“My understanding of it is that Bobby was the one who orchestrated the whole goddamn thing,” she told her sister-in-law the day after the party. “The Attorney General is the troublemaker here, Ethel. Not the President. So it’s Bobby I’m angry at, not Jack.”