Although many people remember her for her generosity and gentle spirit, Marilyn wasn’t always a nice person, certainly not to the first lady of the United States. Jackie Kennedy was no stranger to JFK’s many mistresses. Her one insistence (since she couldn’t control his dalliances anyway) was that he never humiliate her publicly. So far as the public in the 1950s and 1960s knew, he didn’t. Privately, the humiliation was a different matter.
Of all the President’s women, the one Jackie feared the most was Marilyn Monroe. Why? For one significant reason: she felt Marilyn was a “was a loose cannon who could go public at any time, causing a scandal that would obliterate her husband’s reputation, destroy her marriage and hold her up to public ridicule.”
It was little wonder that Jackie feared the worst from Marilyn. Although unconfirmed, rumour has circulated for decades that Monroe called the White House and spoke to Mrs Kennedy, telling her of the affair with her husband. She even insisted that jack was going to divorce Jackie and make her, Marilyn Monroe, first lady.
Jackie wasn’t ruffled easily. She already knew of the affair, even if she wasn’t expecting the phone call. Without hesitation, Jackie replied: “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,” and hung up on Marilyn.
Later, an irate Jackie supposedly berated her errant husband, reminding him that he’d promised never to humiliate her or his family with his affairs. Jack listened and sprang into action (no, not that kind for once). He disconnected his personal telephone line so Marilyn couldn’t reach him anymore. He stopped associating with her and didn’t visit her any longer at her Brentwood bungalow. Supposedly, he enlisted brother Bobby’s help in discouraging Marilyn from pursuing him any longer.
Rather than assuring her place among the Kennedys, Marilyn’s telephone call to the first lady resulted in her being ostracized from the Kennedy clan. She must have been stunned by this development. Who knows what Marilyn was thinking when she made the audacious phone call? Her lack of discretion was succeeded only by her lack of reality.
At the time, Jackie Kennedy had every reason to fear Marilyn and her public behavior about Jack.