Friday, September 4, 2009
When you are young, beautiful and famous, everyone seems to want a piece of you, but if you're a Kennedy the world expects it. John Jr, bred in a family of public servants, most certainly was raised with the fortitude to withstand the "public fishbowl" his life as an adult had become. The handsome, surviving son of the late president JFK, innately knew how important public opinion was to a Kennedy. Yet, as a young man, the precocious John dated Hollywood movie stars, drank often, famously failed the Bar exam twice, (passing on his third try), and stayed close to his mother Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis. The world may have questioned on more than a few occasions whether John Jr. could live up to public expectations, but it was his mother's strong shoulder and strength that would see John Jr through trying times. It was she who would lovingly guide her son back down to earth when things got tough and it was she who would protect the heir to the Kennedy throne. But in 1994 Jackie died of cancer and the age of 33, John Jr. lost his rock.
He stoically managed to put the pieces back together after his mother's death, but according to Edward Klein, author of "The Kennedy Curse", John Jr. was the most likely to beat the odds until he met Carolyn.
Klein says, “The Kennedys have this obsession with power that motivates them to take these reckless, very dangerous leaps that inevitably lead to collisions with reality. It became clear to me that one of the allures, if you will, of Carolyn Bessette, was that she was exciting and dangerous, that he was attracted to her for the very same reason that so many other Kennedys have been attracted to excitement and danger.”
It is Klein's theory that Carolyn Bessette represented a fatal danger to her unsuspecting husband.
While it is no secret that the Kennedy's marriage was quickly deteriorating at the time of their death, it has been reported that Carolyn's unpredictable behavior set in motion a series of events that possibly doomed their marriage and their lives. Anti-social, depressed and using drugs, Carolyn was violent and abusive. Carolyn's ex, Michael Bergin, in his memior, "The Other Man; John F Kennedy Jr, Carolyn Bessette and Me" tells an account of Carolyn's violent behavior during a fight where she threw heavy candles at him that shattered a mirror, threw a TV and VCR to the ground and smashed them, then chased after him and taunted him. JFK Jr's friends also believe that John was a sometime victim of Carolyn's violence, questioning a trip to the emergency room to repair a severed tendon on his hand which John explained was the result of "an accident".
It is also a much reported fact that John was horrified by his wife's drug use. Author Edward Klein says it was a well known fact with her fashionista friends that Carolyn was a heavy drug user and that Kennedy caught his wife and friends snorting lines at their New York apartment. A staff member of George remembered a dinner where Carolyn made numerous trips to the bathroom, returning to the table with white rings around her nose and staying out till the late hours of the morning in bars with the staffer. Reportedly, Kennedy inquired the next day why the staffer and his wife were out so late. The staff member replied: "A better question is why your wife didn't want to go home."
The one who possibly holds the key to what really went on inside the Kenndey marriage is Carolyn's ex-boyfriend Michael Bergin. Bessette Kennedy and Bergin continued their affair after she moved in with Kennedy, but Bergin alleges he ended the affair after their marriage. But Carolyn continued to "taunt" her husband with Bergin, Klein says, by lying to him and leading him to believe it was still going on. Klein: “She was pushing the worst possible buttons by telling her husband that she was being unfaithful to him. and it drove him absolutely crazy.”
Perhaps the most telling thing of all written about the mysterious Carolyn Bessette Kennedy was written by Bergin in his book. He describes Bessette Kennedy's apartment, before she married John Jr, with decorative picture frames placed throughout. The frames, while beautiful, were empty, completely void of any pictures or any images at all. Much like what little we know of her. Beautiful, yet hauntingly empty.