June 28, 2004 12:00 PM

The Men We Became

In a new memoir, JFK Jr.’s college roommate and close pal Robert Littell writes about a man who was loyal, funny—and very human. Some highlights:

BLUE PERIOD After he failed to pass the New York State bar exam for the second time, John “drove his blue truck…to a motel near Lake George, N.Y., checked in and slowly drank a bottle of Scotch over the course of the weekend, alone and listening to self-help tapes.”

LUCKY STAR John and Madonna had a “curiosity encounter” in the late ’80s. John described a tryst “in a hotel room…stuck without contraception. While they managed to entertain themselves, they never achieved what would have been the definitive celebrity coupling.”

GOING ONCE… John and his sister were criticized for auctioning off Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s things, such as furniture and household goods, after she died, but offering them had been Jackie’s idea. She had said to John, “Sell them! Tell them it was from Jackie’s love nest”

LOVE AND HONOR John sometimes found monogamy challenging and “mused over managing his carnal urges” in long talks with Littell, but he never cheated on his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. “John was determined not to publicly humiliate his wife,” since Jackie had been forced to live with constant whispering about JFK Sr.’s infidelities.

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