Wait, Jackie Kennedy had beef with Madonna? New book explores all, plus Madonna’s epic retort

Despite being the most famous woman on the planet at the time, Madonna wasn’t Jackie O’s pick for daughter-in-law

Jackie Kennedy reportedly did not want Madonna as a potential daughter-in-law
(Image credit: Duncan Raban/Popperfoto/Tom Wargacki/WireImage)

Jackie Don’t Preach – Madonna was in trouble deep throughout a rumored fling with JKF Jr, a new biography details.

J. Randy Taraborrelli, an American journalist and celebrity biographer, has penned a new book all about the iconic former First Lady of the United States, Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy. The book, titled Jackie: Public, Private, Secret, delves deep into untold stories of the fashion legend, including her role as a mother.

The author sat down and spoke with People this week ahead of the publication of his book, where he shared some of the scandalous and salacious titbits fans can expect.

Jackie's son, JFK Jr, reportedly had a fling with Madonna in the 1980s

(Image credit: VIN CATAANIAFP via Getty Images)

One such story revolves around Jackie’s son, John F Kennedy Jr, who was considered one of the most eligible bachelors of the 1980s, before settling down with Carolyn Bessette.

Sadly both JFK Jr and Carolyn died in a plane crash three years after getting wed in 1996.  

Before that tragic end, JFK Jr was in high-demand with some of the biggest names at the time – including Madonna.

Madonna during the 1980s was at a level of celebrity seldom seen – and this might have been the issue Jackie had with her son having dalliances.

Although it’s sometimes been suggested that Jackie didn’t like Madonna’s resemblance to Marilyn Monroe, for reasons that shouldn’t need explaining, Taraborrelli suggests otherwise.

Madonna's affinity for Marilyn Monroe might not exactly have helped her in the eyes of Jackie Kennedy

(Image credit: Alan Singer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBC/Universal via Getty Images)

The first - “Jackie’s problem with Madonna was that she was married,” he told People.

Madonna was married to Sean Penn for four years, between 1985 and 1989. They had separated at this point, but were still officially married.

The second part of the issue, according to the biographer, was that Jackie didn’t understand Madonna’s need for attention.

“Jackie had spent her entire celebrity life avoiding paparazzi, whereas Madonna would court paparazzi… Jackie just couldn’t understand any of that.”

Madonna's fame was at its very peak during this period

(Image credit: Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Despite her hesitation, it’s suggested JFK Jr persuaded his mom to go and watch Madonna in one of her Broadway plays (Madonna tried her hand at acting during this period).

He explains, “I interviewed somebody who worked with Jackie at Doubleday, who said that she went with Jackie to the show; that Jackie wore a red wig so that she wouldn’t be recognized.”

“She put the wig on, and she asked this woman, ‘How do I look?’ And the woman said, ‘You look just like Jackie Onassis in a red wig.’”

Despite going to the play – and reportedly finding Madonna to be talented – Jackie didn’t meet the singer backstage as she didn’t want “to validate” the relationship.

JFK Jr was a most sought after bachelor, but potential suitors had to contend with a protective Jackie

(Image credit: Brooks Kraft LLC Sygma via Getty Images)

And if you think a biographer might not be the most credible of sources, this story has been brought up before – by one of the former First Lady’s good friends, music legend Carly Simon.

The You’re So Vain singer told People in 2019, “Jackie was very consumed with getting him on the right path… She didn’t approve of some of [the women] — she was horrified by Madonna.”

Anyone with a hint of awareness about Madonna won’t be surprised to hear that the Vogue singer didn’t exactly take it lying down.

Another biographer, Christopher Anderson, wrote in The Good Son: JFK Jr. and the Mother He Loved, claims Madonna once visited Jackie’s home and signed her guestbook as Mrs. Sean Penn in response to Jackie’s judgment.

Jackie – not a great track record with famous blonds.

Taraborrelli’s new book on the First Lady will be released on July 18.

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.