Mimi Alford, the former White House intern who claims she had an 18-month affair with President John F. Kennedy, sat down for an interview with "The View" (weekdays on ABC) Friday that turned surprisingly combative. Barbara Walters grilled Alford about her motivations for writing about the relationship and criticized her for hurting the Kennedy family.
Walters, who admitted to having an affair with then-married Senator Edward Brooke in early '70s, began the interview by detailing the sexual exploits Alford wrote about in her book "Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath." "The View" co-host pointed to a passage where Alford describes giving oral sex to JFK's friends and younger brother on a dare. Alford pushed back on the notion that she was coerced, but expressed some regret about it. "What mortifies me today is that I accepted the dare," she reflected.
When Alford explained that she didn't intend to hurt anyone by writing the book, Walters interrupted: "I know, but you know it must hurt that family." Alford pushed back against the criticism, explaining that the book was her way of telling her story, and that she needed to write and talk about the experience after keeping it a secret for so many years.
Earlier in the week, Walters' colleague Whoopi Goldberg expressed skepticism about the timing of the book's release and threatened to not show up for the interview. But the present Goldberg took the opportunity to ask Alford, "Why now?" Alford explained that after she was named in a 2003 JFK biography, she felt the desire to tell her own her own story, rather than leave it in someone else's hands.
At that point, Walters interrupted again, making the point that the affair was only mentioned in one paragraph of that biography. "Nobody even remembers it. You could have let it go," Walters suggested. But Alford once again defended taking ownership of her story, and simply said, "That secret affected my whole adult life."
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