After Camelot: A Personal History of the Kennedy Family by Taraborrelli J. Randy

After Camelot: A Personal History of the Kennedy Family by Taraborrelli J. Randy

Author:Taraborrelli, J. Randy [Taraborrelli, J. Randy]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Biography
Published: 2012-04-24T04:00:00+00:00

Peter Lawford Dies

Flash back to June 1966.

“What the hell do my kids need me for?” Peter Lawford said to Jackie Kennedy in the presence of his friend and partner Milt Ebbins. Jackie and her children had accompanied Peter on a vacation to Oahu, Hawaii. “They’re Kennedys,” Peter said of his children. “They have all that power. All that money. They don’t need me. I’m nothing.”

According to Ebbins’s memory, Jackie leaned over and put her hand on Peter’s. “Why, that’s just not true,” she told her former brother-in-law. “You are a wonderful man. In fact, I still feel that you and Pat should be able to make it work. I’ll talk to Pat when I get back. I’ll see what I can do.”

“It was an unusual vacation, to say the least,” Milt Ebbins recalled many years later. “Peter had planned to go with his children Christopher and Sydney and soon found out that Jackie was going to be on the same island at the same time. He said to me, ‘I don’t think I can go now.’ He was heartbroken because it had been everything he could do to convince Pat to let him take two of the kids on this vacation. I said, ‘Look, call Jackie and see if she will mind.’ So he did. She said she didn’t mind at all. In fact, she said, ‘Why don’t we all fly over together?’ Jackie was just that kind of woman—nothing really bothered her when it came to familial relations. So she and her kids flew to San Francisco and met up with me, Peter, his kids, and a few other friends and we all flew to Hawaii together. The trouble began when we got there and were photographed together. Pat called me in a complete rage. ‘Why didn’t you or Peter tell me that Jackie was going to be there?’ she demanded to know. I know why I didn’t; it was because I thought Peter had done it. But when I later asked Peter, he said he was afraid to tell her because he was afraid she would say no and that the trip would then be canceled. Then, when I asked Jackie about it, she looked at me as if I was out of my mind and said, ‘Why, Milt, why would I?’ ‘Maybe because you and Pat are best friends?’ I wanted to answer. However, I didn’t. That’s just the way it was with the Kennedys.”

While in Hawaii with Jackie, Peter took it upon himself to make certain that she and her children had a wonderful holiday. At one point, he arranged an elaborate cocktail party at the Kahala Hilton for her and about a hundred friends of his—or perhaps friends of friends. “It was the hotel on the island at the time,” Ebbins recalled. “It had just opened about a year earlier, very exclusive, a real celebrity hangout at the time. [Peter and Jackie were staying in separate rented beachfront properties near this hotel.] On the day


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