Did Marilyn Monroe Really Have an Affair With JFK?

Image Credit: New York Sunday News/Wikimedia Commons

Netflix’s biographical film ‘Blonde’ revolves around the life and career of the legendary Marilyn Monroe. The film progresses through Monroe’s relationships, marriages, and the challenges she faces to build a career in Hollywood. In the film, Monroe has an affair with “the President” shortly before her mysterious death. During a visit, “the President” forces her to give oral sex as well.

In reality, there are speculations and rumors concerning Monroe’s alleged affair with then-United States President John F. Kennedy. If you are wondering whether there is any truth behind those allegations and rumors, let us share what we know!

Marilyn Monroe’s Relation With John F. Kennedy: Rumors and Speculation

Rumors concerning Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy’s alleged affair aren’t new. The press and media have dived deep into the speculations to discover the truth behind them. Some have connected the same to the actress’ “Happy Birthday” performance at JFK’s 45th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden in 1962. According to Monroe’s biographer James Spada, the rumors didn’t originate without any foundation of truth. “[…] it was pretty clear that Marilyn had had sexual relations with both Bobby [Robert F. Kennedy] and Jack [John F. Kennedy],” Spada told People.

Image Credit: ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’

Donald Spoto, another biographer of Monroe, doesn’t believe that she and JFK had an outright “affair.” According to Spoto’s ‘Marilyn Monroe: The Biography,’ there isn’t any evidence to prove that both of them had a “protracted intimacy sustained by some degree of frequency.” Still, the book aligns with what Spada had revealed concerning Monroe and JFK’s sexual relations. In the book, the biographer wrote, “All that can be known for certain is that on four occasions between October 1961 and August 1962, the president [JFK] and the actress [Monroe] met and that during one of those meetings they telephoned one of Marilyn’s friends from a bedroom…”

“Soon after, Marilyn confided this one sexual encounter to her closest confidants, making clear that it was the extent of their involvement,” Spoto added. According to Marilyn’s close friend and masseur Ralph Roberts, Monroe and JFK had a sexual encounter on March 24, 1962, at Bing Crosby’s house in Palm Springs. “Marilyn told me that this night in March was the only time of her “affair” with JFK. Of course, she was titillated beyond belief, because for a year he had been trying, through [Peter] Lawford, to have an evening with her,” Roberts told Spoto for ‘Marilyn Monroe: The Biography.’

“A great many people thought, after that weekend, that there was more to it.,” he added. “But Marilyn gave me the impression that it was not a major event for either of them: it happened once, that weekend, and that was that.” Per Secret Service agents who worked closely with JFK during the time, Monroe and JFK had a sexual encounter that was exaggerated to the rumors of them having an affair. “If there had been an affair, I would have known about it. There was no affair. Sorry. There just wasn’t. It was one weekend, and that’s it,” an agent told biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli for the book ‘The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.’

Image Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

“What we knew was that JFK and Marilyn had sex at Bing Crosby’s, and that’s it. We didn’t think it was a big deal. He had sex with a lot of women. At the time, looking back on it now, she was just one of many and it wasn’t that noteworthy,” another agent told Taraborrelli for his book. “If there was more to it between them, they [Kennedy and Monroe] somehow managed to keep it from us—and I don’t think you can keep something like that from the Secret Service,” the anonymous individual further added.

In addition, there are rumors that Monroe’s death was a murder, and JFK and his brother Robert F. Kennedy were allegedly involved in the same, supposedly to cover up the alleged affair. Spada had given clarity regarding the same in the same People interview. “There had to have been [a cover-up]. The Kennedys could not risk this coming out, because it could have brought down the President. But the cover-up that was designed to prevent anyone from finding out that Marilyn was involved intimately with the Kennedy family has been misinterpreted as a cover-up of their having murdered her,” Spada said in the interview.

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