Richard Nixon had gay affair with Mafia fixer?
Former US president Richard Nixon had a gay affair with his best friend, a Mafia-connected Florida wheeler-dealer named Charles 'Bebe' Rebozo, according to a new biography by Don Fulsom.books Updated: Dec 28, 2011 07:37 IST
Former US president Richard Nixon had a gay affair with his best friend, a Mafia-connected Florida wheeler-dealer named Charles 'Bebe' Rebozo, according to a new biography by Don Fulsom.
Fulsom, a veteran Washington reporter who covered the Nixon years, also insists that the 37th U.
S. President had a serious drink problem, beat his wife and by the time he was inaugurated in 1969 had links going back two decades to the Mafia, including with New Orleans godfather Carlos Marcello, then America's most powerful mobster.
Bebe Rebozo was a short, swarthy, good-looking Cuban-American businessman with a history of failed relationships with women and close alliances with Miami's Mafia chiefs, the Daily Mail reported.ulsom has used recently revealed documents and eyewitness interviews including with FBI agents to shed new light on long-standing doubts among White House insiders that Nixon may have been a more than just good pal with Rebozo.
He asserts that Nixon's relationship with Pat, his wife of 53 years, was little more than a pretence. A heavy drinker whom his own staff dubbed 'Our Drunk', Nixon used to call his First Lady a 'f***ing bitch' and hit her before, during and after his presidency.
The couple had separate bedrooms at the White House and in Key Biscayne, the exclusive resort near Miami where Nixon holidayed. Mrs Nixon did not even used to sleep in the same building, however Rebozo, was in the house next door.
Fulsom also claims that one of Nixon's former military aides had a covert job 'to teach the President how to kiss his wife' so that they would look like a convincing couple.
Fulsom has quoted a former Time magazine reporter who, at a Washington dinner, bent down to pick up a fork and saw the two holding hands under the table.
It was, the reporter judged, amply intimate to suggest 'repressed homosexuality'.
Another journalist revealed how, loosened up by drink, Nixon once put his arm around Rebozo 'the way you'd cuddle your senior prom date. Something was fishy there'.
Rebozo even became an 'uncle figure' to the Nixons' two daughters, Tricia and Julie. The dapper Cuban-American selected Nixon's clothes and even selected the films he watched at the White House.
On Nixon's solo visits to Key Biscayne, they swam and sunbathed, indulging in their shared passions for discussing Broadway musicals and barbecuing steaks.
When Nixon became President, Rebozo was given his own office and bedroom at the White House, and a security clearance that permitted him to go in and out without being logged by the secret service.
Using a false name, says Fulsom, Rebozo even got into Nixon's hotel suite during a trip to Europe.
The President's closest colleagues criticized the way Rebozo monopolised Nixon's time.
The book, Nixon's Darkest Secrets: The Inside Story Of America's Most Troubled President will be out on January 31, 2012.
First Published: Dec 28, 2011 07:37 IST