Magazine article The American Conservative

A Night out with the Kennedys

Magazine article The American Conservative

A Night out with the Kennedys

Article excerpt


Late in the fall of 1974, the senior senator from Massachusetts, accompanied by his nephew, future Congressman Joe Kennedy, arrived in Athens as guests of the newly installed-following the collapse of the military junta-and democratically elected government of Constantine Karamanlis. At the time, I was working as a stringer for UPI and as the Middle East correspondent for National Review.

Just before the Kennedy pair landed, a message from one William van den Heuvel, father of The Nation's present editor, was passed to me from the Ministry of Information. The Kennedys were eager to meet with me once the formal government stuff had been dealt with. Being familiar with the long homosexual history of the Kennedys, I immediately understood what they were after, so I asked my very pretty American girlfriend of the time whether she had a couple of friends who would like to have a drink with a couple of Kennedys. Did she ever, was her eager response.

We arranged to meet around midnight at the Grande Bretagne Hotel, where Ted and Joe were staying as guests of the Greek government. One of the girls, the daughter of a prominent Greenwich, Connecticut attorney, was called Anita C. She brought along another cute American who was also spending a year studying in the birthplace of selective democracy. When we met with Ted and Joe, I suggested we go to a trendy nightclub called 9 Muses, but Ted said he preferred to stay behind with Anita and then join us later. No one seemed to mind, so I went on ahead with Joe, my girl, and his new acquaintance.

We did not get off to a good start. Joe lit a joint in the taxi despite my warnings that under Greek law possessing a single joint could land one in jail for a minimum of 12 months. (It has been changed since.) I was outvoted, and the evening passed rather hazily, if you know what I mean.

Then the trouble began in earnest. Around five in the morning, a hysterical Anita rang my house accusing Ted Kennedy of all sorts of things involving drugs and booze. I asked her to calm down, but she was adamant that he had done her wrong and told me she would ring her father in the States.

Next day I listened to her story, which went as follows: No sooner had we left, the senator and Anita began petting, as they say, and then, according to Anita, Kennedy produced a plastic bag full of amyl nitrate and proceeded to pop it. …

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