The California estate where President John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe are rumored to have had an affair is up for sale for $5 million.
Located in Rancho Mirage, just outside of Palm Springs, the Moroccan-themed estate was built for entertainer Bing Crosby in the 1950s and has five bedrooms and five bathrooms spread out over 6,700 square feet, on 1.36 acres of land.
It features “expansive and unobstructed views” of Coachella Valley, as well as an array of outdoor gardens, a pool, three fire pits, and an attached casita, according to the site Inside Hook.
The house’s attached two-bedroom casita is rumored to be the place where Marilyn Monroe and JFK would meet in secret.
The real estate listing coyly says the house is “fabled to have housed one of our former presidents and his legendary guest, thereby earning its name, the JFK Wing.”
The affair between the actress and the president has reached mythic status while not actually having much substantiation.
“A passionate love affair between Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy has been assumed for so long that it has achieved as solid a place in public awareness as almost any other event in the man’s presidency,” wrote Donald Spoto, one of Monroe’s more respected biographers.
But while the two did know each other, they did not meet often, Spoto said. “All that can be known for certain is that on four occasions between October 1961 and August 1962, the president and the actress met.”
One of these four meetings took place at Bing Crosby’s home and it is the time when an affair seems most likely.
It was March 24, 1962, and both Monroe and Kennedy were houseguests of Crosby. She told confidante Ralph Roberts afterward “that this night in March was the only time of her ‘affair’ with JFK,” wrote Spoto. Roberts said, “Marilyn gave me the impression that it was not a major event for either of them. It happened once, that weekend, and that was that.”
Of course the fourth meeting was when Marilyn Monroe sang to the president at his birthday gala at Madison Square Garden. Afterward, she attended a party for the president, along with many members of his family and his friends, hosted by Arthur and Mathilde Krim.
No matter what happened between these two famous figures of the 20th century, the Bing Crosby house was a spectacular home for the “White Christmas” crooner.
Crosby had a number of homes in Palm Springs, including one which President Kennedy visited later on. That visit was also controversial because Kennedy was planning to visit Frank Sinatra, but due to Sinatra’s connections to organized crime, his advisors persuaded him to switch to Crosby.
Actor Peter Lawford, Kennedy’s brother-in-law, wrote that when he was told Kennedy would not be his guest, Sinatra was “livid.” He blamed Lawford, and banned him from the Rat Pack.
Bing Crosby was neighbors with not only Frank Sinatra but also Ginger Rogers, Kirk Douglas, and Lucille Ball in this exclusive neighborhood.
“The home is all about indoor-outdoor living and traditional-meeting-modern design — and it overlooks such a gorgeous backdrop,” realtor Frederik Eklund said in an interview.
Fortune magazine asked, “What other listing can offer the chance for caroling around a pool and fire pit with such a level of celebrity history? The house is in decent shape but could use some upgrades.”
“Along with a well-proportioned main structure with retractable glass walls, the purchase includes an adjacent half-acre lot on which owners can build a small guest house for future presidential affairs.”
Palm Springs had a special status among celebrities in the 1950s and 1960s.
“Without Hollywood, it can be argued, there would be no Palm Springs as we know it today,” wrote Howard Johns in his book Palm Springs Confidential.