Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ first marriage came to a tragic end with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. At least that didn’t stop her from finding love again — or did it?
Kennedy’s second marriage was to Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, but there’s always been speculation about the exact nature of their relationship. Now, a new memoir by Kathy McKeon, Kennedy’s former live-in assistant, is feeding that speculation with a description of the friendly yet cool relationship between the former First Lady and her second husband.
“It was hard to tell by Madam’s business-like demeanor whether she was happy,” McKeon writes, adding that when Kennedy shared the news that she was going to marry Onassis, “Is this what she wants? I couldn’t help but wonder. She and Mr. Onassis seemed like friends, not a couple.”
But on the day of the wedding, McKeon says Kennedy was in great spirits.
“[She seemed] normal, happy-go-lucky, just good,” she writes. “She didn’t say anything. The hairdresser was there. She did her hair and then I helped her get dressed. She did her own makeup.”
McKeon attending the church wedding, then accompanied Kennedy to the yacht where the reception was held.
“[Jackie wore] a long evening gown,” she describes. “It was pretty plain. I think it was yellow with beads around the neck like a shift dress [with] two slits at the bottom. Kind of one you would wear around the house — very cozy and comfortable like.”
As she was leaving to put Kennedy’s kids to bed, McKeon says she saw the new couple dancing to Greek music aboard the yacht, where they stayed for their honeymoon. After Kennedy returned home, life wasn’t really any different.
“[Jackie] would come in very late for dinner and the cooks and the waitress would get grumpy,” McKeon writes, explaining the one thing that did change after the wedding. “Sometimes 10 o’clock. The cooks, they were getting too old for that.”
So who knows. Maybe Kennedy and Onassis were actually in love, or maybe they were friends who decided it would be convenient to get married. One thing is definitely for sure, though: There are enough conspiracy theories about the Kennedys without diving too deep into this one.