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JFK’s student mistress reveals ‘madly in love’ affair after decades of silence

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For 63 years, she kept her “madly in love” affair with John F. Kennedy a buried secret — until now. 

Today, Diana de Vegh is an 83-year-old grandmother of two who is legally blind and maintains her private psychotherapy practice of 20 years out of her West Village apartment. But in 1958, she was a soul-searching Radcliffe College junior, rapt as JFK delivered a galvanizing senatorial re-election campaign speech in a Boston ballroom.

Suddenly, he was at her table, asking to sit next to her, then personally inviting her to an event the following week.

“Give me your seat, so a tired old man can sit next to a pretty girl,” de Vegh recalled JFK telling her date at the event, initiating the pair’s first, seemingly innocent meeting. 

The future 35th US president and his coed conquest would sleep together on and off for the next four years. 

“I didn’t realize then that I’d simply been netted, separated from the other students,” she wrote for Graydon Carter’s digital weekly, Air Mail News, in her first public telling of her secret romance with the charismatic American icon-to-be. “I was 20 years old, with a full supply of hormones and madly in love with this compelling man.”

JFK was already a married 40-year-old with a notoriously bad back

‘Back then, nice girls did not have sex, that was a no-kidding-around situation so I did not talk about it.’

No matter, the rising star senator initiated regular rendezvous with his starstruck student: A clandestine driver would scoop up de Vegh from her off-campus residence and cart her to wherever he was campaigning. She’d be tended to by staff who’d call her “sweetheart” and fetch her coffee (“what they were actually doing was making sure I was inconspicuous at these public events and remained at an appropriate distance from the center of attention”) before JFK joined her for the drive home after.

“You know I’m working pretty hard for just one vote here,” he would often tease her once they were together in the car.

“It was easy, and emotionally convenient,” she explained of JFK’s reasoning for the routine, “because Mrs. [Jacqueline] Kennedy did not participate at this level of suburban campaigning.”

diana-de-vegh-jfk
Donning his coat, John F. Kennedy leaves his campaign headquarters at the Carlyle Hotel en route to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to attend Low Mass in the late 1950s. The clandestine couple often hooked up here.
Bettmann Archive

They’d make love in a Boston apartment he kept and at the Carlyle Hotel on NYC’s Upper East Side. Still, she longed for more than scraps of his time and attention, and eventually moved to Washington, DC, to be near to him as he pursued the nation’s highest office. “It will be better there,” de Vegh said he assured after she admitted she didn’t feel cared for by President Kennedy. 

At the time, rumors of this powerful public figure’s carnal Camelot marathon — from aristocratic Swedish mistresses to shared-with-Sinatra mob molls to doomed Hollywood bombshell Marilyn Monroe — were nothing more than hushed whispers that wouldn’t dare reach the mainstream until decades later.

Then, in 1962, Commander-in-Chief JFK discovered de Vegh’s father was the same Hungarian economist he’d recently begun consulting with on political affairs. He called Diana to his Georgetown home and asked her to confirm the fact. 

diana-de-vegh-jfk
Diana de Vegh as a baby. “[JFK] couldn’t just drop me, so we had to kind of dwindle,” she explained to The Post. “I didn’t realize quite what was going on, but then things shifted radically.” 
Courtesy Diana de Vegh

“He had nothing against me, but he realized it could really be a problem, because a lot of people knew my dad, but he couldn’t just drop me, so we had to kind of dwindle,” she explained to The Post. “I didn’t realize quite what was going on, but then things shifted radically.” 

And so JFK began to put her “back on the shelf.” They met less, he began calling her “cold” (even though she felt he was the cold one). As their meetings diminished so did her sense of self, and she decided to run away to Paris. 

diana-de-vegh-jfk
A 1960 campaign poster for JFK: “I didn’t realize then that I’d simply been netted, separated from the other students,” de Vegh said. “I was 20 years old, with a full supply of hormones and madly in love with this compelling man.”
Alamy Stock Photo

She can’t recall the exact location of their final meeting, either his home or the Oval Office, but it was the last time she ever saw him. JFK was assassinated the following year. 

“The whole idea of conferred specialness — ‘You go to bed with me, I’ll make you special’ — we’ve seen a lot of that with Harvey Weinstein, Roger Ailes, show business.”

“I just went completely numb,” she told The Post of the moment she heard the news. “I was having dinner in a bistro in my neighborhood and it came on the news and I thought, this can’t be true. I went home and went to bed and the next day I got every copy of every newspaper.” 

She enveloped herself in a world of expat artists, got engaged, got married, moved back to the US and went to Yale, had two daughters, moved to New York, got divorced, went to Columbia, became a social worker, found a new partner — and told hardly anyone about her illicit affair with John F. Kennedy. 

“Back then, nice girls did not have sex, that was a no-kidding-around situation, so I did not talk about it. It just wasn’t something I discussed,” she said. Instead of dealing with or sharing the experience it instead became “a pocket of dead energy” she carried around with her. 

diana-de-vegh-jfk
Diana de Vegh as a child, with her brother.
Courtesy Diana de Vegh

However, the affair had been an unspoken secret in Washington (“there were plenty of rumors”) and two separate journalists eventually reached out to her; she spoke to them and they shared her story — but only anonymously. Marion Fay “Mimi” Alford, who had an affair with JFK while a White House intern, also reached out to de Vegh while writing her 2011 memoir “Once Upon a Secret.” 

“She wrote to me, and I wrote back and said I wished her well but really had nothing to say,” de Vegh recalled. 

De Vegh’s experience also appears in Sally Bedell Smith’s 2004 tell-all “Grace and Power,” but de Vegh claims she only spoke with Smith on a (broken) promise of anonymity. 

While she’d share her story off-the-record with those who asked, de Vegh felt no compulsion to tell it herself until recently, when she realized that, despite the progress of feminism and the #MeToo movement, many young women continue to worship older men instead of respecting themselves. She believes sharing her story now will be worth it if it can convince even one woman to reevaluate a toxic, unequal power-dynamic relationship — and learn to devote some of her romantic energy to self-love instead.

diana-de-vegh-jfk John F. Kennedy, the nation's 35th President of the United States of America.
John F. Kennedy, the nation’s 35th President of the United States of America.
ZUMAPRESS.com

“The whole idea of conferred specialness — ‘You go to bed with me, I’ll make you special’ — we’ve seen a lot of that with Harvey Weinstein, Roger Ailes, show business,” she said.

Her relationship with JFK, while consensual, was in many ways the epitome of this toxic idolatry of men, she feels. “I was prepared to just look straight up at JFK. I never thought he would be engaged with me, I hoped that he would ‘love’ me,” she explained of her own misplaced respect for him instead of herself in the relationship. 

She does not regret their affair “because in the long run it taught me something I needed to know,” but if she was aware then as she is today of how caring and equal romantic partnerships can be, she firmly believes she would never have let her heart be broken by a man so ready to cast her aside the moment it became inconvenient.

She would not have let herself be seduced by JFK. 

Then Senator John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy in the at the 1957 "April in Paris" Ball at the Waldorf Astoria.
Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, at the 1957 “April in Paris” Ball at the Waldorf Astoria.
Bettmann Archive

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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