The relationship between Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedy family has always been a topic of intrigue and speculation. While most of the attention has been focused on Marilyn’s alleged affair with John F. Kennedy, it’s important to shed light on the rumours surrounding her relationship with Robert F. Kennedy, or Bobby, as he was commonly known. In this post, we’ll delve into the claims surrounding their connection and examine the evidence to separate fact from fiction.

The Character of Robert Kennedy

Unlike his brother John, Bobby Kennedy was not known for his promiscuity.

Those who were close to him, like Edwin Guthman, the Department of Justice’s press secretary, attested to his loyalty and devotion to his wife, Ethel. Guthman even stated, “I never saw him pay attention to anyone but his wife” during the five years he travelled with Bobby. The notion that he would risk his marriage to Ethel in 1962 seems highly unlikely, given his reputation as a shy, gentle, and loyal husband.

Origins of the Affair Rumours

The rumours surrounding Marilyn Monroe’s alleged affair with Bobby Kennedy began before August 3, 1962, when columnist Dorothy Kilgallen hinted at Marilyn spending time with an unnamed man. Jean Kennedy Smith, Robert Kennedy’s sister, wrote an undated letter in 1962 to Marilyn, acknowledging the circulating reports. However, Jean later clarified that the letter was written in jest, dismissing any notion of an affair.

A “Handsome Gentleman”

During the 1960s, Marilyn Monroe spent time with several gentlemen, but that doesn’t necessarily imply romantic involvement with all of them. After her divorce from Arthur Miller, Marilyn had an agreement with her ex-husband Joe DiMaggio to see other people. She was seen in the company of Joe, Frank Sinatra, Jose Bolanos, and very likely John F. Kennedy. But what about Bobby?


Dorothy Kilgallen, the infamous gossip columnist, suggested in August 1962 that Marilyn was involved with a mystery man, possibly a Kennedy brother or Frank Sinatra. However, the actual name was never confirmed in print. Kilgallen later claimed it was a reference to Robert Kennedy, but her credibility has been questioned. She is said to have received this information from her interior decorator friend, Howard Rothberg, who had no direct connection to Marilyn. It’s worth noting that an alleged CIA document supporting this claim is widely considered a forgery.

The Involvement of FBI and Conspiracy Theories

J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI, had a file on Marilyn Monroe since 1956, long before her interactions with the Kennedy brothers. Hoover’s scrutiny extended to various public figures, including Charlie Chaplin, Andy Warhol, and Walt Disney, suggesting a pattern of moral surveillance. William Sullivan, Deputy Director of the FBI, acknowledged that the stories of Bobby Kennedy’s affair with Marilyn were baseless, originating from a right-wing journalist known for spinning wild yarns. Hoover eagerly fuelled these rumours.

Insights from Those Close to Bobby and Marilyn

People close to Bobby Kennedy, such as Edwin Guthman, expressed that he had no interest in pursuing an affair. Marilyn herself denied the tales, and her friends, including Sidney Skolsky, Milton Ebbins, Joseph Naar, and William Asher, insist that the relationship between Marilyn and Bobby was platonic. Claims of alleged sexual acts between Marilyn and the Kennedy brothers are unsubstantiated, with no evidence to support them.

MARILYN & RFK: A Timeline of Alleged Meetings

While it is evident that Marilyn and Bobby had interactions, it’s crucial to examine the timeline of their encounters.

*Note: The following timeline provides an overview of Marilyn Monroe and Robert F. Kennedy’s interactions based on available information and testimonies. It is important to acknowledge that some details may be subject to interpretation and varying accounts.

October 1961:
According to Edwin Guthman, Marilyn attended a dinner party at the home of Peter and Pat Lawford. It is mentioned that Marilyn may have had too much champagne and that Guthman and Bobby Kennedy drove her home. However, Marilyn had written to her ex-stepson in February 1962 stating she met RFK the day before the letter was written instead.

18 November 1961:
There are rumours that Marilyn and Bobby were together on this date. However, Marilyn was in Los Angeles with photographer Douglas Kirkland, while Bobby was in New York.

1 February 1962: Marilyn wrote a letter to Bobby Miller, her former stepson, describing her dinner with Robert Kennedy. She expressed admiration for his intelligence and sense of humour. The event took place at the home of Pat and Peter Lawford, with numerous guests in attendance. Marilyn and Bobby had a conversation about civil rights, with Marilyn expressing her concerns and receiving answers from Bobby. This interaction appears to have been cordial and intellectual. This was the first meeting between the two.

19 May 1962: Marilyn famously sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden during a birthday gala. After the event, Marilyn and other performers, including Pat Newcomb and Isidore Miller, attended an after-party celebration at the home of Arthur Krim. Marilyn briefly spoke with the President and Robert Kennedy, as documented in photographs from the evening. Afterwards, Marilyn accompanied Isidore back to his Brooklyn home before returning to her own residence. This event is significant because it marks one of the few occasions where Marilyn and the Kennedys are photographed together.

13 June 1962: Marilyn declined an invitation to a dinner party hosted by Bobby and Ethel Kennedy. The reason for her absence is unclear, but it is speculated that she may have used a “freedom ride protest” as an excuse to avoid attending.

26/27 June 1962: According to Donald Spoto’s biography, Marilyn was picked up by Pat and Peter Lawford from her Brentwood home to attend a party at their residence. Bobby Kennedy was reportedly with them on June 27. It is suggested that Marilyn gave them a tour of her new home. Marilyn’s housekeeper, Eunice Murray, stated that Marilyn did not engage in any clandestine activities with Mr Kennedy or have a love affair with him.

While these instances provide glimpses into Marilyn and Bobby’s interactions, it is crucial to emphasise that no concrete evidence supports a romantic relationship between them. Marilyn’s phone records indicate phone calls to a Washington number in July 1962, likely connected to Bobby, but the nature of these calls was not secretive and was common knowledge.

The rumours of an affair between Marilyn Monroe and Robert F. Kennedy have persisted over the years, despite the lack of credible evidence. While Marilyn had encounters with Bobby and made phone calls to him, there is no concrete proof of a romantic relationship. Bobby’s loyalty to his wife and Marilyn’s own statements, along with testimonies from their friends, point toward a platonic connection. It’s essential to separate gossip from facts and acknowledge the unfounded nature of these anecdotes, which continue to circulate without credible substantiation.