Fairy Tale Interrupted: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss
Working Girl meets What Remains, the behind-the-scenes story of an unlikely friendship between America’s favorite First Son, John F. Kennedy Jr. and his personal assistant, a blue-collar girl from the Bronx.
From the moment RoseMarie Terenzio unleashed her Italian temper on the entitled nuisance commandeering her office in a downtown New York PR firm, an unlikely friendship bloomed between the blue-collar girl from the Bronx and John F. Kennedy Jr.
Many books have sought to capture John F. Kennedy Jr.’s life. None has been as intimate or as honest as Fairy Tale Interrupted. Recalling the adventure of working as his executive assistant for five years, RoseMarie portrays the man behind the icon—patient, protective, surprisingly goofy, occasionally thoughtless and self-involved, yet capable of extraordinary generosity and kindness. She reveals how he dealt with dating, politics, and the paparazzi, and describes life behind the scenes at George magazine. Captured here are her memories of Carolyn Bessette, how she orchestrated the ultra-secretive planning of John and Carolyn’s wedding on Cumberland Island—and the heartbreak of their deaths on July 16, 1999, after which RoseMarie’s whole world came crashing down around her. Only now does she feel she can tell her story in a book that stands as “a fitting personal tribute to a unique boss . . . deliriously fun and entertaining” (Kirkus Reviews).
minute, I explained that I wasn’t sure John and Michael would be taking me with them and I didn’t know how to ask. “You’re a smart girl with a lot of common sense and a good heart,” my dad said. “They’ve already hired you, so what are you worried about?” “Come on, Dad. These people have Ivy League degrees. They have money. They’re completely hooked up. What the hell do they need from me?” “Hey! What kind of stupid talk is that? Just because someone’s got more money doesn’t mean they’re better
Joey announced he had a Christmas gift for me, and my heart beat fast with the thought that maybe this was a pronouncement of some kind. I ripped open the lumpy, manhandled wrapping paper. Inside the little package was a brass Zippo lighter. Okay, not exactly diamonds or perfume, but all hope was not lost: there was a card—perhaps it held a meaningful, romantic sentiment. I read the one line: “Best of luck in the New Year, Joey.” Best of luck? On the phone with Carolyn the next day, I went off:
Washington, D.C., I took over the suite, which looked more like a gorgeous Upper East Side Manhattan apartment than a hotel room. There was no use in letting all that luxury go to waste. I wasn’t the only one who got an upgrade. The Four Seasons had put John and Carolyn in the Presidential Suite, which with its living room, formal dining room, and three bedrooms made my accommodations look like the projects. I thought John was going to take my head off for allowing the upgrade. “This is
game—entertaining them with John’s presence while encouraging them to spend their money on more appealing Hachette titles. After the initial frenzy of George’s launch, the ad sales plummeted a few issues in and the magazine grew noticeably thinner. Pecker in turn became more brazen in his requirements of John, putting constant pressure on him to drum up business. After the requests became twice-a-week affairs, or more, I went into John’s office for a reality check. “You know, it’s really
dialing Frank’s number. In the million times I had called him, we’d never been on opposite sides. Once I’d relayed John and Carolyn’s complaint, he said, “There’s nothing I can do. I have to do what he tells me to.” Following a quiet moment of tension, I fell into my old habit of getting angry when uncomfortable. “You’re making my job and my life miserable. Your loyalty is supposed to be to me,” I said. “I don’t know what to do,” he said, on the verge of tears. “Then I have to send him a