New book alleges life-long relationship between JFK and gay BFF sometimes included oral sex
A new book alleges that John F. Kennedy and his life-long gay best friend had a relationship that included oral sex.
From the time Kennedy and Kirk LeMoyne ‘Lem’ Billings met as teens in prep school until the President’s assassination thirty years later, they remained best friends.
Billings was a virtual fixture in the Kennedy family who even had his own room at the White House.
In his new book Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: RFK Jr. and the Dark Side of the Dream, author Jerry Oppenheimer attributes the oral sex claim to writer Lawrence J. Quirk who worked with Billings on Kennedy’s first congressional campaign in 1946.
The book claims that Quirk confided to Quirk that the two men had ‘a friendship that included oral sex, with Jack always on the receiving end.’
Quirk had said that Billings ‘believed that this arrangement enabled Jack to sustain his self-delusion that straight men who received oral sex from other males were really only straights looking for sexual release.’
He also observed: ‘Jack was in love with Lem being in love with him and considered him the ideal follower-adorer.’
The 2008 book Jack and Lem: John F. Kennedy and Lem Billings: The Untold Story of an Extraordinary Friendship by David Pitts told a different story.
That book told of Kennedy casually writing at the end of a chatty letter to Billings after his friend made a sexual advance: ‘I’m not that kind of boy.’
Pitts’ book about their friendship drew on hundreds of letters and telegrams between the two, Billings’s oral history and interviews with family and friends like Ben Bradlee, Gore Vidal, and Ted Sorensen.
It was a friendship that endured despite an era of rampant homophobia.
Billings was a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School and was an advertising executive at the Manhattan advertising firm Lennen & Newell. He put his business career on hold to work on Kennedy’s campaign for president.
Bradlee says in that book: ‘I suppose it’s known that Lem was gay….It impressed me that Jack had gay friends.’
Billings never came out publicly but did once say: ‘Jack made a big difference in my life. Because of him, I was never lonely. He may have been the reason I never got married.’