Jfk’s Son Ties Knot In Hush-Hush Wedding Cousin Confirms John F. Kennedy Jr. Married Carolyn Bessette In Island Ceremony

MONDAY, SEPT. 23, 1996

John John is the nation’s No. 1 bachelor no more. John F. Kennedy Jr. tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Carolyn Bessette in a top secret weekend ceremony on a secluded island.

Years of gossip about the man once dubbed “The Sexiest Man Alive” ended with a private wedding Saturday on this island along the Georgia coast.

“My cousin John did tie the knot yesterday,” Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., confirmed Sunday morning at a fund-raiser for congressional candidate Robert Burch in Steubenville, Ohio. Although he gave no details, his spokesman confirmed the bride was Bessette.

Camden County Probate Judge Martin Gillette said his office issued a marriage license to the couple Thursday, though they had not yet returned it to confirm the ceremony took place.

Kennedy has been romantically linked for about five years to Bessette, a Connecticut native who until last spring worked in public relations for Calvin Klein Ltd. in New York City.

But she was hardly the only woman linked to the dashing playboy who has it all - good looks, money and a link to Camelot.

The 35-year-old son of President John F. Kennedy, co-founder and editor of the political magazine George, ended a lengthy relationship with actress Darryl Hannah not long after his mother’s funeral in May 1994.

And according to the New York Post, Kennedy finally popped the question to Bessette last year after she blew her top over a National Enquirer report that he had an affair with actress Sharon Stone.

In February, the couple was videotaped having a lovers’ quarrel in a New York park, with talking, fighting, pouting and crying before they eventually made up. The 20-minute spat showed up in television and newspaper accounts.

Last week’s issue of New York magazine said the privacy-obsessed Kennedy went ahead with plans for his wedding without even divulging the date or place to some relatives.

Even cousin Patrick wasn’t invited, said the congressman’s spokesman, Larry Berman. “I think it was, from what we heard, very small.”

But several members of the Kennedy clan were around Cumberland Island Sunday - and they weren’t talking.

Kennedy’s sister, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, spotted at Fernandina Airport eight miles from Cumberland Island, responded with an enigmatic thumbs up when a television crew asked about reports of a wedding.

Kennedy’s uncle, Sen. Edward Kennedy, also caught a plane Sunday at the airport across the Florida state line and he too was mum.

Even the pilot of a ferry boat to the island said only: “I cannot confirm or deny.”

And the air of mystery was heightened by denials from sources close to Kennedy.

One said a number of family members were hundreds of miles away on Cape Cod, to attend a birthday party for Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass.

Cumberland Island, known for unspoiled beaches and wild horses, was once the Carnegie family’s vacation home. It’s now run by the National Park Service.

An unidentified volunteer for the park service said guests had been arriving under cover of darkness for several days, with private guards turning the curious away from Greyfield Inn, a secluded bed and breakfast.

Judge Gillette said the family that runs the inn set up a private meeting with his chief clerk in nearby St. Mary’s to issue the marriage license.

So is the judge excited about being a part of one of America’s most famous unions?

“Not at all,” he said. “The name doesn’t do anything for me.”


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