Kennedy patriarch's mistress tells all, says his wife approved of their affair

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Joseph Kennedy Sr.'s Mistress Reveals Details of Their 9-Year Affair


While the Kennedy family has long kept many stories behind closed doors, the longtime mistress of Kennedy patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy is spilling a ton in her new self-published memoir.

Janet Fontaine, now 91, published A Good Life, a book about her dalliances with Kennedy while she lived with the family in their Hyannis Port mansion and how her nine-year affair was carried out right under his wife, Rose's nose.

Fontaine revealed to People that her affair with Joe began soon after he hired her as his personal assistant in 1948. At the time, she was 24 and he was 60. ​Joe had already been married to his wife, Rose, for 34 years but according to Fontaine, she hardly paid any mind to Joe's infidelity.

Rose accepted me with open arms, was very fond of me and treated me beautifully. I have no hard feelings toward her," Fontaine told People. "Joe and Rose were not close but they respected one another. There was a loneliness in his life. Joe had just lost his son, Joe Jr., in the war and then four months after I went to work for him, he lost Kathleen, his favorite daughter [in a plane crash]. He used to cry and say 'I can't talk about them.' I think he needed someone to cling to and bring little segment of happiness to his life."

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Joseph P. Kennedy and Kenned family
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Kennedy patriarch's mistress tells all, says his wife approved of their affair
JOSEPH P KENNEDY (1888-1969) US businessman, father of JFK, here in 1939 as US Ambassador to the UK.
Antique October 7, 1914 photograph, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and bride Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald Kennedy leaving the private chapel of the Archbishop of Boston, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., USN
American businessman + political figure Joseph P. Kennedy Sr (1888 - 1969) - father of US President John F. Kennedy (JFK).
Seated at right, American socialite and philanthrophist Rose Kennedy (1890 - 1995) poses with her children, from left, Joseph P Kennedy Jr (1915 - 1944), John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), Rosemary Kennedy (1918 - 2005), and Eunice Kennedy, Brookline, Massachussetts, 1921. (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) 29.05.1917 - 22.11.1963, Politiker; USA, Familienfoto; sitzend v.l.n.r.: Mrs., Sargent-Shriver, die Eltern Joseph P. und, Rose, Ehefrau Jacqueline und Bruder, Edward; stehend v.l.n.r.: Ethel, Stephen, Smith und Frau, John F., Frau Lawford,, Mr. Sargent-Shriver, Joan, Peter Lawford, - 09.11.1960 (Photo by ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Ambassador in London Joseph P. Kennedy. Grossbritannien. Photograph. 1938. (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images) Botschafter in London: Joseph P. Kennedy. Grossbritannien. Photographie. 1938.
Portrait of the Kennedy family in their living room, Brookline, Massachussetts, 1930s. Front row from left: Joseph P Kennedy Jr (1915 - 1944), Rose Kennedy (1890 - 1995), Robert Kennedy (1925 - 1968), Edward Kennedy, Joseph P Kennedy Sr (1888 - 1969), Patricia Kennedy (1926 - 2006), Jean Kennedy; back row from left: Eunice Kennedy, John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), and Rosemary Kennedy (1918 - 2005). (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
Portrait of American businessman Joseph P Kennedy Sr (1888 - 1969) (seated, center) as he poses with his sons around him, clockwise from left, Edward Kennedy, John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Joseph P Kennedy Jr (1915 - 1944), and Robert Kennedy, Hyannis, Massachussetts, 1930s. (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 12: Portrait of Joseph Patrick KENNEDY and his wife Rose Fitzgerald KENNEDY September 1937. Joseph P. KENNEDY was the newly appointed United States ambassador to Great Britain. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
A portrait of the Kennedy family in their living room, Bronxville, New York, 1938. From left are: Joseph P Kennedy Sr (1888 - 1969), Patricia Kennedy (1926 - 2006), John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Jean Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy, Robert Kennedy (1925 - 1968), Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), Edward Kennedy, Rosemary Kennedy (1918 - 2005), Joseph P. Kennedy Jr (1915 - 1944), and Rose Kennedy (1890 - 1995). (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
Joseph P Kennedy, Chairman of the US Maritime Commission, as he recently appeared before a Congressional committee, Washington DC, December 3, 1937. (Photo by Harris & Ewing/Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
Patricia Kennedy (1924 - 2006, left), later Patricia Kennedy Lawford, and Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), later Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington, riding in Rotten Row, Hyde Park, London, 1938. They are the daughters of US ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Kennedy. (Photo by Horace Abrahams/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
A portrait of the Kennedy family as they sit in the shade of some trees, Hyannis, Massachussetts, 1930s. Seated from left, Robert Kennedy (1925 - 1968), Edward Kennedy, Joseph P Kennedy Sr (1888 - 1969), Eunice Kennedy, Rosemary Kennedy (1918 - 2005), and Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948); standing from left, Joseph P Kennedy Jr (1915 - 1944), John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), Rose Kennedy (1890 - 1995), Jean Kennedy, and Patricia Kennedy (1926 - 2006). (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
Joseph P Kennedy, who was sworn in today as American Ambassador to Great Britain, with his new aide, Harold Hinton, the former Washington Correspondent for the New York Times, Washington DC, February 18, 1938. (Photo by Harris & Ewing/Underwood Archives/Getty Images)
16th March 1938: Full-length image of Joseph P Kennedy (1888 - 1969, third from left) with (left to right) his daughter Kathleen, sons Teddy and Robert, wife Rose, and daughters Patricia (1924 - 2006) and Jean, London, England. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
19th March 1938: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, wife ofJoseph P Kennedy US Ambassador in Britain, and mother of John F Kennedy, with her daughter Kathleen Kennedy. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 05: May 5,1939. Joseph P. KENNEDY, United States Ambassador to England, holds a reception for the British king and queen. From left to right: Mrs. Rose Fitzgerald KENNEDY; the king of England George VI, his wife Queen Elizabeth, and Joseph Patrick KENNEDY. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
22nd March 1939: American ambassador to Great Britain, Joseph P Kennedy (1888 - 1969) and his wife, Rose Kennedy (1890 - 1995), arrive at Covent Garden Opera House, London. Rose wears a satin gown and a jeweled tiara. Joseph wears a white tie and tails. (Photo by New York Times Co./Getty Images)
7th March 1940: The American Ambassador in Britain, Joseph P Kennedy, greeting the press gathered at the airport as he returns from a trip to the US. (Photo by J. A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), later Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington, whilst working for the American Red Cross in London, 1943. She is the daughter of US ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Kennedy. (Photo by Horace Abrahams/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Kathleen Kennedy (1920 - 1948), later Kathleen Cavendish, Marchioness of Hartington, whilst working for the American Red Cross in London, 1943. She is the daughter of US ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Kennedy. (Photo by Horace Abrahams/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Francis Joseph Cardinal Spellman officiates as Eunice Mary Kennedy, daughter of ex-Ambassador to England and Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy and Robert Sargent Shriver Jr. kneel before main altar of St. Patrick's Cathedral during couple's wedding. It was first time since his elevation that Cardinal had married anyone.(Photo By: Fred Morgan/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
BOSTON - NOVEMBER 21: Cardinal Cushing, Monsignor Maguire, Rose F. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy at the funeral for Joseph P. Kennedy at the Holyhood Cemetery on November 20, 1969. (Photo by Philip Preston/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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Throughout the time she spent with the family, Fontaine says got close to them and Joe was extremely charismatic.

"I spent a great deal of time at their homes in Hyannis Port [Massachusetts] and Palm Beach," Fontaine explained.

In fact, it was at the Palm Beach home that Joe first seduced Fontaine, who was a virgin at the time.

"Joe was not surprised that I had not had sex," she said in an interview with Ronald Kessler. "He taught me everything."

Adding that he wasn't particularly difficult to fall for. "He was fun, he was warm, he was thoughtful, never demanding, very considerate, and very gentle," she said. "It wasn't very difficult to fall in love with him. He was very charming. He overwhelmed me."

The new book certainly adds another level of public intrigue to the often elusive family. Fontaine's book is available at Amazon.

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