She had already suffered the torment of losing one man she loved.
And sitting at the hospital bedside of her brother-in-law, Jackie Kennedy was about to lose another.
According to a new book, the widow of President John Kennedy had a steamy four-year affair with his brother Bobby.
The relationship was so intense that when Bobby was gunned down during his 1968 presidential campaign, it was Jackie - and not his wife Ethel - who instructed doctors to turn off his life support machine.
Ethel, mother to Bobby’s 11 children, knew about his affair but chose to ignore it, according to the book, Bobby and Jackie: A Love Story, by C. David Heymann, who has written extensively about the Kennedy clan.
‘I suspect Bobby would’ve liked to dump Ethel and marry Jackie, but, of course, that wasn’t possible’, says Heymann.
Heymann, who claims to have trawled through FBI and secret service records as well as talking to Kennedy family and friends, says Bobby was the former First Lady’s one ‘true love’.
He says their romance grew from their shared grief over the assassination of John Kennedy in 1963.
Jackie flew to Bobby’s hospital bedside after he was shot by Sirhan Sirhan following his presidential primary victory in California on June 4, 1968.
Heymann writes that Ethel allowed her love rival time alone with her dying husband. Jackie married Aristotle Onassis four months after Bobby’s death
Although Bobby was brain dead, Ethel refused to pull the plug and his brother Teddy was too distraught to decide.