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Kennedy tried to make teenage intern have abortion

A former White House intern and mistress of John F Kennedy has revealed that the President tried to make her have an abortion after he feared he’d made her pregnant and forced her to take drugs.

books Updated: Feb 13, 2012 10:24 IST

A former White House intern and mistress of John F Kennedy has revealed that the President tried to make her have an abortion after he feared he’d made her pregnant and forced her to take drugs.

Mimi Alford kept her relationship with Kennedy a secret until it was exposed in 2003 by the New York Daily News.

Alford now, aged 69, has spoken about their18-month affair in her new memoir “Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and its Aftermath.”

She said she lost her virginity at the age of 19 when Kennedy seduced her on his wife’s bed during her White House internship in 1962.

“As a 19-year-old intern in the Kennedy White House, I didn’t appreciate that it was unhealthy to be at the perpetual beck and call of a married man. I was having fun, living in the moment — and I was blinded by President Kennedy’s power and charisma,” the Daily Mail quoted Alford as writing in the book.

“Yet even at the height of our 18-month affair, I knew he wasn’t in love with me. Of course not: he was the leader of the free world. The married leader of the free world. And I wasn’t even old enough to vote.

“Since the fourth day of my internship in the White House press office, when the president had tipped me on to his wife’s bed and taken my virginity, our relationship had been sexual, intimate and passionate.”

“To my shame, I soon had a personal crisis of my own: my period was two weeks late. The President took the news in his stride, but he could hardly have been surprised. I knew nothing about birth control, and he never used protection with me (either because of his Catholicism or recklessness, I could never be sure).

“An hour later, Dave called the dorm and told me to call a woman who could put me in touch with a doctor in New Jersey. The intermediary was a necessary precaution, because abortion was illegal.

“That was pure Dave Powers: he handled the problem immediately, and with brute practicality. There was no talk about what I wanted, or how I felt, or what the medical risks might be.

“In the end, it was a false alarm. I never did contact the doctor — and neither Dave nor the President referred to the subject again,” Alford wrote.

She also claimed the President forced her intern to take drugs.

“My relationship with JFK maintained its intensity through the winter as he continued to beckon me to the White House and request my presence on Presidential trips. Not all of these were unqualified delights.

“In early December, I joined him at Bing Crosby’s house in Palm Springs, where he planned to relax after a tour of 11 Western states.

“A large festive crowd had gathered to greet him and he was, as always, the centre of attention. I was sitting next to him in the living room when someone offered round a handful of yellow capsules — most likely amyl nitrate, which stimulates the heart and apparently enhances sex.

“When the President asked if I wanted to try one, I said no  — but he went ahead and popped a capsule under my nose. Within minutes, my heart started racing and my hands began to tremble.

“Panicking that I was about to have a heart attack, I ran crying from the room. Dave Powers took me to a quiet corner at the back of the house, where he sat with me for more than an hour until the effects of the drug wore off.

“I didn’t spend that night with President Kennedy. He was staying in a suite, now known as the Kennedy Wing. Was he alone? I don’t know. For the first and only time since I met him, I was relieved not to see him, “ she added.