In a new tell-all memoir, former White House intern Mimi Alford details her 18-month long affair with President John F. Kennedy. The book, "Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath," will be released on Wednesday.
Alford, 69, is a grandmother and retired church administrator. But 50 years ago, she began a relationship with the president while she was a 19-year-old intern in the White House press office. According to the New York Post, which obtained a copy of the memoir, the affair began in the summer of 1962, on the fourth day of Alford's internship, when they had an encounter in the White House swimming pool. That night, Alford says, she lost her virginity to the president in First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy's bedroom.
The affair, Alford claims, continued through the summer. After she returned to school at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, the president would call her using the pseudonym "Michael Carter." On occasion, Kennedy reportedly paid for Alford to visit Washington while his wife was away.
One such visit occurred during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the 13-day-long standoff in October 1962 between the United States and the Soviet Union. According to Alford, Kennedy told her that "I'd rather my children red than dead."
Alford says she last saw Kennedy at a the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan in November 1963, just a week prior to his assassination. Alford writes, "He took me in his arms for a long embrace and said, 'I wish you were coming with me to Texas.'"
The affair was first revealed in 2003, when Kennedy biographer Robert Dallek wrote in "An Unfinished Life" about an unnamed intern who allegedly had a relationship with the late president. The New York Daily News then identified Alford as the intern. She subsequently gave a statement confirming the relationship.
In an interview with NBC's Meredith Viera, which will air on "Rock Center" Wednesday evening, Alford explained her motivations for coming forward with the details.
"It's not so much that I feel that I'm exposing myself, it's that I'm really unburdening myself, it was a very difficult thing for me to do," Alford said. "In fact, most mornings when I woke up I thought I don't want to get up and write this book, I want to hide under the covers."