Imagine this: President Barack Obama, fresh off the heels of his NSA/Verizon/PRISM/IRS/ETC/ETC/ETC scandals, is caught by a TMZ reporter leaving Jay-Z and Beyonce's Tribeca apartment. No one really makes anything of it: He's tight with the couple. Maybe they were planning a 40-40 Club fundraiser. Maybe he wanted to see Blue Ivy and bring her approval ratings down, or something.
But wait! It's revealed that Jay-Z is actually in Europe at the time. Meaning, Obama and Beyonce were alone together. And a secret wiretap in the loft reveals that the country's most famous female entertainer is actually... boinkin' the prez.
Can you imagine how fucking insane that story would be? The Monica Lewinsky scandal would have nothing on it: One of the most in-demand women in the world carrying on a relationship with the planet's most powerful person, in a media climate that consists of at least five 24/7 cable news channels, thousands of blogs, and the up-to-the-millisecond social media capabilities of Twitter and Facebook. We would hear nothing but the story for months. Holidays would be canceled. The Breaking Bad premiere would be postponed to make way for AMC's new cable news division. I, and every other person who writes on the Internet, would do a hilariously poor job of keeping things in perspective and toning down the rhetoric. (Oh god, think of the page views...)
Anyway, this exact scenario actually took place 50 years ago. The young and embattled (at the time) post-Bay of Pigs John F. Kennedy carried on an affair with the world's biggest sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe. And very few people knew about the deeds for many years.
One guy who did know was the amoral Hollywood private eye Fred Otash. Otash—who once said, "I'll work for anybody but communists. I'll do anything short of murder"—owned file cabinets worth of dirt on Hollywood's big names in the 1950s and '60s. The stuff he illegally obtained is unreal, especially when you imagine how it would have gone over now:
"Marilyn wanted a mini-phone listening device," Otash claims in the notes, adding that he spied on her even while she was paying him to install recording equipment so that she could tape her own phone calls. "You could hide it in your bra. The microphone was a wristwatch. You could also put a suction cup on the phone. Later on, she wanted a sophisticated system put in her house. We wired up her phone because it started looking stupid with a suction cup."
Otash listened in on Marilyn having sex with Kennedy when he was watching [Rat Packer Peter] Lawford's house in Malibu, allegedly while working for Howard Hughes, who was seeking general information with which to discredit the Democrats. "When the original Lawford house was wired, Monroe was not part of the plan," Otash says in the files. "It was to find out what the Democrats were up to on behalf of Howard Hughes and Nixon. Monroe became a by-product."
The files include notes that he left for Colleen, in which he says he was conducting surveillance of Marilyn Monroe on the day she died.
“I listened to Marilyn Monroe die,” he claims in the notes, without elaborating, adding that he had taped an angry confrontation among Bobby Kennedy, Lawford and Monroe just hours before her death: “She said she was passed around like a piece of meat. It was a violent argument about their relationship and the commitment and promises he made to her. She was really screaming and they were trying to quiet her down. She’s in the bedroom and Bobby gets the pillow and he muffles her on the bed to keep the neighbors from hearing. She finally quieted down and then he was looking to get out of there.”
Shortly before Otash's death in 1992 at the age of 70, he told Vanity Fair: "I would have kept it quiet all my life. But all of a sudden, I'm looking at FBI files and CIA files with quotes from my investigators telling them about the work they did on my behalf. It's stupid to sit here and deny that these things are true. Yes, we did have [Lawford's house] wired. Yes, I did hear a tape of Jack Kennedy f--ing Monroe. But I don't want to get into the moans and groans of their relationship. They were having a sexual relationship -- period."
Find more at the Hollywood Reporter. And make it happen, Obama and Beyonce. For the advertising money.