Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy was the wife of John F. Kennedy Jr., the son of President John F. Kennedy. Their illustrious marriage made headlines for years, as did their tragic death in 1999.Tonight, ABC News’ 20/20 will air a documentary, “The Last Days of John F. Kennedy, Jr.”, that details the fateful night that took the lives of Kennedy Jr., his wife, and his sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette.Read on to learn more about the marriage of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette.1. They Died in a Plane Crash in 1999
The lives of JFK Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and his sister-in-law, Lauren, came to an end when their plane crashed on the evening of July 16, 1999. JFK Jr. was piloting the plane at the time. It was a six-seat, single-engine Piper Saratoga.According to reports from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Kennedy suffered from spatial disorientation as the plane was descending, and struggled to see through the hazy weather conditions. A 2007 article in USA Today adds that “A report of the National Transportation Safety Board blamed pilot error for the crash, saying Kennedy, who had been flying for 15 months, was not skilled enough for low-visibility nighttime flying and became disoriented in the hazy sky.”Reports indicate that one of Kennedy’s flight instructors offered to fly with him that night, but he declined the offer, saying he wanted to “do it alone.”The bodies of the deceased were recovered off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard five days after the accident. Their ashes were scattered at sea, just three miles from where their bodies were found.2. There Were Rumors That the Two Had a Tumultuous Relationship
GettyCarolyn Bessette-Kennedy and John F. Kennedy Jr.
John, 38 at the time of his death, was, in the words of Town and Country Magazine, “as famous for his good looks as for his name.” His wife, meanwhile, was “an enigma, mysterious, and elegant.” But the couple’s beauty and celebrity status belied what many have described as a tumultuous marriage.Town and Country Magazine writes, “Despite their golden couple status, in the summer of 1999 John and Carolyn were at a crossroads. They were facing careers in flux, the ups and downs of the early years of marriage and questions about children—and, most poignantly, the final days of a close loved one, John’s cousin Anthony Radziwill.”A 2014 Vanity Fair article echoes these problems in the couple’s marriage, and quotes JFK Jr. as once saying, “I want to have kids, but whenever I raise the subject with Carolyn, she turns away and refuses to have sex with me.”This conversation reportedly took place just two days before the plane crash that took their lives. JFK was, according to Vanity Fair, speaking to his friend, and at one point said, “It’s impossible to talk to Carolyn about anything. We’ve become like total strangers.” He went so far as to say, “I’ve had it with her!… It’s got to stop. Otherwise we’re headed for divorce.”3. A New Documentary Claims Their Marriage Was ‘Unraveling’ Before the CrashA new A&E documentary called “JFK Jr. – The Final year” was inspired by Steven M. Gillon’s new biography, “America’s Reluctant Prince: The Life of John F. Kennedy Jr.”In a recent Extra interview with Gillon, the author states that the couple’s marriage was unraveling before the crash occurred. He says that the two were both casual drug users. “John liked pot… I think that what happened those last couple years is that Carolyn became more and more dependent on cocaine…”Gillon goes on to say that what affected their relationship more than anything else was the incessant scrutiny by tabloids and reporters. “She felt trapped,” he says of Carolyn.4. Carolyn Struggled Being in the Public Eye
By now, it’s well-known that Carolyn struggled with life in the public eye. She was made out by the media to be a commoner who had found a wealthy husband, but she found the life of celebrity difficult to manage and adjust to.Vanity Fair writes that she soon began spending time at friends houses in other areas of the city because she didn’t “feel at home” in the couple’s Tribeca apartment. A friend tells the outlet, “She hated it. She didn’t like where it was located. And John had decorated it—badly. It was very cold, like a young man’s first loft.”The article goes on to write, “It was clear to friends that Carolyn was cracking under the pressure. She displayed the classic signs of clinical depression. A few months after the wedding, she began spending more and more time locked in her apartment, convulsed by crying jags and, as gossip columnist Liz Smith observed, ‘bemoaning her fate as the wife of America’s most famous man.’”Eventually, Carolyn stopped partaking in John’s required engagements and resigned herself to spending time alone.5. They Met in Central Parkhttps://www.instagram.com/tv/BzJPUvjFUiv/?utm_source=ig_embedRumor has it that Bessette and JFK Jr. first met in Central Park while they were on a run. The outlet writes that they married in 1996 in a wedding that took place in a chapel off the Georgian coast.In Late June, TLC released a documentary titled, “JFK Jr. & Carolyn’s Wedding: The Lost Tapes,” that offered audiences a glimpse into the couple’s wedding and marriage.In one clip, Kennedy can be seen talking to the members of his rehearsal dinner. He states, “Carolyn and I owe all of you a great debt of gratitude… I realize that we imposed certain conditions upon this event.”And where did the tapes come from? A good friend of Kennedy’s– Billy Noonan– used his handheld video camera to document the weekend’s happenings. He tells Today, “It was amazing to have experienced, and when I look at the video now, I realize how magical it was and how special it was.”
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