On newly revealed audio tapes, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis calls Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. a “terrible” man and says she could barely look at images of him.
ABC News will air the explosive recordings, made in 1964 after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, in a TV special hosted by Diane Sawyer and scheduled for September 13. The tapes will be released on September 14 in a book titled “Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy.”
“I just can’t see a picture of Martin Luther King without thinking, you know, that man’s terrible,” the widowed First Lady told friend and historian Arthur Schlesinger.
Jackie O reportedly soured on the civil rights leader after claims he had tried to arrange a sex party while in town for the March on Washington in 1963, and had made derogatory comments during her husband’s funeral, ABC News reports.
“[JFK] told me of a tape that the FBI had of Martin Luther King when he was here for the freedom march. And he said this with no bitterness or anything, how he was calling up all these girls and arranging for a party of men and women, I mean, sort of an orgy in the hotel, and everything,” she said.
FBI director J. Edgar Hoover had arranged wiretaps of King, but these recordings have never been released to the public.
Jacqueline Kennedy said Robert Kennedy told her that King, during JFK’s funeral, “made fun of Cardinal Cushing and said that he was drunk at it. And things about they almost dropped the coffin and — well, I mean Martin Luther King is really a tricky person,” she said.
However, some have said the FBI tapes were concocted in order to hurt King, the Daily Mail says. There is no proof available that King actually said those things.
The Jackie O tapes also reveal how JFK scorned the idea of Lyndon Johnson becoming president.
“Jack said it to me sometimes. He said, `Oh, God, can you ever imagine what would happen to the country if Lyndon were president?’” she said, according to the Associated Press.