CIA arranged for actress to meet with Jordan’s king in 1959 visit
The CIA recruited a Hollywood fixer to help the new king of Jordan have a rendevouz with a B-movie actress during a 1959 trip to the United States, recently declassified documents show.
The encounter, believed to be with King Hussein and Susan Cabot, may have also yielded an illegitimate child, who in 1986 beat his mother to death.
The scandalous revelation was part of a recent document dump related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
CIA officials in 1959 tapped Robert Maheu, an ex-FBI agent who later worked for Howard Hughes, to “arrange a party for the foreign official” whose name is redacted in the document.
But USA Today, which first spotted the file, found the dates line up with Hussein’s April 3 to 7, 1959, visit to Los Angeles.
The 23-year-old recently divorced king was visiting the U.S. to build up ties with the nation after the oil-rich Jordan’s relationship with the United Kingdom fizzled out.
“The foreign official was especially desirous of female companionship during his Los Angeles visit and it was requested that appropriate arrangements be made through a controlled source of the (CIA’s) Office (of Security) in order to assure a satisfied visit,” the document states.
Cabot, who made her film debut in 1947’s “Kiss of Death,” hit it off with the prince at oil bigwig Edwin W. Pauley’s Beverly Hills home, an April 9, 1959, Los Angeles Times Story noted.
Hussein’s trip later took him to New York, where he stayed at a rented house in Long Beach on Long Island from April 14 to 18.
The king was so floored with the woman, whose name is redacted from in the CIA memo, that the home was supposed to be “a confidential meeting place” for the pair.
Cabot, meanwhile, was booked at the Hotel Barclay at East 48th St. and Lexington Ave. in Manhattan under a fake name.
An Associated Press photograph dated April 13, 1959, showed Cabot arriving at Idlewild Airport in Queens — later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Their relationship, which reportedly carried on for years, became a gossip item — especially because Cabot was Jewish, the CIA memo noted.
A CIA agent accompanied Cabot to the Nassau County home on April 14, where the King later arrived with two State Department agents, an NYPD lieutenant and a driver.
Cabot stayed there for the next four days, the memo says, and she was visited nightly by the king.
During the stay, she vented to her security about the press coverage of their affair, especially because she was Jewish and Hussein led a Muslim-majority nation.
She also expressed initial hesitated about going to the L.A. party, but ended up being “quite taken with the foreign official and found him to be most charming.”
The three-page memo likely entered the files because its connection to Maheu. In 1960, the reputed fixer was again contacted by the CIA — this time to find someone who could kill Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
He told the Senate committee investigating JFK’s death in 1975 that he recruited two mobsters to poison Castro in the early 1960s.
The Senate’s Church Committee noted Maheu, who died in 2008, at first didn’t want to help the agency out because of commitments with Hughes, with whom he’d recently begun working.
And though Hussein’s trip may have ended, he’s rumored to have carried on an affair with Cabot in the years that followed.
The king, who died in 1999, was long believed to have fathered Cabot’s son, Timothy Scott Roman, who was born Jan. 27, 1964.
Roman — who was born with dwarfism but given steroids to grow to five-foot-four — was later convicted of manslaughter for bludgeoning Cabot to death in December 1986 with a metal bar.
He claimed it was self-defense, and sentenced to three years of probation.
Roman’s defense attorney, Chester Leo Smith, filed documents during the prosecution that seemed to confirm Hussein was his father.
“For as long as I can discover, Susan Roman received a regular sum of $1,500 a month from the Keeper of the King's Purse, Amman, Jordan," Smith wrote in the filing, according to the Los Angeles Times. “There is written indication in the handwriting of Susan Roman this money is from a trust. . . . For better or worse, it looks like child support.”
Smith also had letters Cabot supposedly penned to the king about Roman, but didn’t seem to mention he was the father.
Jordan’s king never lost his love of American women, however. In 1978, he married Lisa Najeeb Halaby, born and educated in the United States, whose name changed to Noor Al-Hussein.