JFK Jr.’s Wife Wanted Martha Stewart to Teach Her to Cook Something Besides Chicken

Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy was also frustrated her husband wouldn’t introduce her to mom Jackie O., new book reveals

Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and JFK Jr.
Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and JFK Jr. (Credit: Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy didn’t often cook for herself and her husband JFK Jr., a new book by author Elizabeth Beller has claimed. The late Bessette-Kennedy had one recipe — roast chicken — and the pair would otherwise often order Kentucky Fried Chicken takeout. But that KFC love didn’t mean Bessette-Kennedy didn’t want to learn to cook more meals, and as a high-powered individual is wont to do, she even reached out to Martha Stewart for cooking advice.

Beller shared the story with People this week ahead of the release of her biography of Bessette-Kennedy on Tuesday. The author also included several other anecdotes about the couple, including that Bessette-Kennedy was “irked” by the fact that JFK Jr. never introduced her to his mother, former First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis, who died 30 years ago on May 19, 1994.

JFK Jr. and Bessette-Kennedy began their on-off relationship in the early 1990s, when Kennedy Jr. was also dating actress Daryl Hannah. As time went on, Beller wrote, Bessette-Kennedy became more frustrated about the situation with Kennedy and his family.

“Carolyn became increasingly irked that he wouldn’t introduce her to his mother,” Beller writes. “‘I took him to meet my mom,’ Carolyn told a friend.”

At the time, Kennedy Jr. was consumed with the launch of his magazine “George.” Beller writes in the book, “I think it was hard for him to take anything other than his work too seriously at that moment. If Carolyn met Jackie, I think he knew that that would sort of become a life of its own. And maybe he wasn’t quite ready for that.”

“I know that he did regret it,” she adds. “That’s one of the things that he said to several friends, one of his main regrets was not introducing the two of them.”

The author also speculated that part of Bessette-Kennedy’s desire to meet Jackie O. could have been rooted in the divorce of her own parents. Beller added, “I think for her, not being introduced to a parent was a particular vulnerable spot as someone who felt like maybe a parent hadn’t stayed in her life as much as she would’ve liked when she was growing up.”

Bessette-Kennedy and Kennedy Jr. married in a secret wedding in 1996 at the First African Baptist Church on Cumberland Island. Photographer Denis Reggie described the wedding as “an incredibly magical moment” in an interview with Vanity Fair about a photo he took of the couple exiting the church.

“I saw it as it was unfolding, almost in silhouette. It was virtually dark outside. John reached for the hand of Carolyn; she was caught off guard. I’m walking backwards in the light rain at dusk, and John does this amazing gesture, taking her hand and bringing it to his lips,” Reggie added.

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