RoseMarie Terenzio, JFK Jr’s assistant, reveals she urged Carolyn Bessette to board that ill-fated flight
RoseMarie Terenzio, John F. Kennedy Jr.’s assistant, has revealed how she talked his wife Carolyn Bessette into taking the flight the couple perished on 12 years ago.
RoseMarie Terenzio, 44, was JFK personal assistant, publicist and one of his closest confidantes during the last five years of his life.
In her book, “Fairy Tale Interrupted”, RoseMarie Terenzio reveals that the couple was having serious troubles in their marriage and Carolyn Bessette had initially refused to join JFK on that ill-fated flight on July 16, 1999.
With their marriage under intense strain, Carolyn Bessette, a Calvin Klein executive, who struggled with the constant media attention her husband attracted, had said she was not going to join him at his cousin Rory’s wedding on July 17.
JFK Jr.,39, who ran George magazine, had told RoseMarie Terenzio that Carolyn Bessette was determined to stay at home and that he was not “going to fight with her about it”, she recalls in People Magazine.
But RoseMarie Terenzio tried to change her mind.
“<<I’m not a priority>>, she said. <<It’s always something else. George. Somebody getting fired. A trip to meet advertisers. I just want some normal married time. I’m exhausted>>” RoseMarie remembers Carolyn Bessette telling her.
But RoseMarie Terenzio said she urged Carolyn Bessette to take the flight and go to the wedding in Massachusetts.
“I know. But now’s not the time to take a stand. His whole family’s going to be at this wedding. Listen. You don’t want to put yourself in a position of being judged, you get enough of that.
“Go get a dress and I’ll get you a car to the airport.” RoseMarie Terenzio told her, according to People.
As he left, JFK Jr. had thanked RoseMarie Terenzio was talking Carolyn Bessette around.
“He turned to me and said, <<Rose you’re the best. Thanks for smoothing things over>>.”
Hours later, JFK Jr.’s plane crashed in the Atlantic Ocean near Martha’s Vinyard, Massachusetts killing him, Carolyn Bessette and her sister Lauren.
After the tragic, untimely deaths, RoseMarie Terenzio said her whole world came crashing down around her, along with her hopes for the future.
“I don’t feel responsible for what happened, but I will certainly always have the feeling that I should have kept my mouth shut and not told Carolyn to get on the plane,” said RoseMarie Terenzio reports People magazine.
Only now as the head of her own public relations company, is RoseMarie Terenzio finally ready to tell her story, giving a very real insight into the lives of the tragic couple.
“John was more than a mannequin of good looks and privilege; Carolyn was not this uptight, cold and guarded person,” RoseMarie Terenzio told People magazine.
Writing the book “felt like paying tribute to them. It felt really good.”
In her book, RoseMarie Terenzio reveals JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette’s sometimes tumultuous relationship and the strain Carolyn felt from the constant media attention after their secret wedding in September 1996.
“Whenever she went out – to get coffee, walk the dog, or meet a friend – they were there, pushing in close and shouting things like wh*re and b**ch. If they could break her perfect exterior, it would be an instant story,” RoseMarie Terenzio says in the report by People.
“Carolyn retreated into herself. Unfortunately John didn’t understand. <<Just don’t pay attention to it. I don’t>>, he said.
“I knew that John’s dismissive attitude was due to his frustration. He couldn’t protect his wife. He should have told her as much – I know she really wanted to hear it,” RoseMarie Terenzio added.
The book also gives an insight into the couple’s more loving relationship and how JFK Jr. proposed to Carolyn Bessette on a fishing trip.
RoseMarie Terenzio revealed to People: “The couple teased each other a lot, one Valentine’s Day there was some tabloid story about him cheating, so she sent him flowers from all these famous models and actresses, like Pamela Anderson. He thought it was hilarious.”
JFK Jr.’s former assistant added that she felt the marriage became strained because they struggled to find “peaceful marriage time” amongst the media frenzy and the magazine struggling.
RoseMarie Terenzio also delves into how she planned the couple’s secret wedding on Georgia’s Cumberland Island as well as their tragic funeral and how she struggled to cope with their deaths.