Jerry Oppenheimer has written a book on JFK, which includes his best friend of thirty years from their school days to JFK’s death. Kirk LeMoyne ‘Lem’ Billings and JFK met at in their sophomore year at Choate Rosemary Hall, the exclusive Connecticut prep school. They quickly became best friends and Billings was practically adopted by Joe Kennedy and his clan. Billings even had his own room in the White House that Jackie didn’t approve of.
Billings wrote JFK a long love letter on toilet paper that could quickly be destroyed as homosexuality was strictly forbidden in those days. Billings later said that the only physical relationship the two ever had was oral sex and it was always JFK on the receiving end. For thirty years the two were practically inseperable.
One of the most credible accounts of the Kennedy-Billings relationship was told by David Pitts, who I interviewed extensively for my book, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. And The Dark Side Of The Dream, because the strapping, bespectacled Billings, with a high-pitched, effeminate voice, would later become the fawning surrogate father – and fellow drug user – of JFK’s nephew, Bobby Kennedy Jr., with whom Billings also had intense romantic feelings.
As one source told me, ‘Young Bobby replaced Jack in Lem’s heart of hearts.’
Billings, who was a year older than Jack Kennedy, made his desire known while the two were still at Choate in a bizarre love note, penned on a piece of toilet paper that could be disposed of easily to avoid incrimination at a time when homosexuality was illicit.
While Billings’ missive is long gone, a startled Kennedy responded, ‘Please don’t write to me on toilet paper anymore. I’m not that kind of boy.’
But Kennedy’s reaction to Billings gay come-on soon changed and he became more amenable to his friend’s advances, according to the writer Lawrence J. Quirk, author of ‘The Kennedys in Hollywood.’ Quirk had met Billings in the mid-Forties when both were volunteers in Jack Kennedy’s first congressional campaign.
Quirk immediately pegged Billings as gay, noting his ‘high, screechy laugh,’ and ‘high nasal whine of a voice.’ As they became close, Billings confided that his relationship with Kennedy was, in fact, sexual, to a point.
According to Quirk, Billings revealed that his friendship with the future president of the United States ‘included oral sex, with Jack always on the receiving end.’
Their arrangement, Quirk asserted, ‘enabled Jack to sustain his self-delusion that straight men who received oral sex from other males were really only straights looking for sexual release,’ and he further observed, ‘Jack was in love with Lem being in love with him and considered him the ideal follower adorer.’
The Kennedy patriarch, Joe, a noted philanderer himself, was suspicious of Billings’ sexual preference from the start of his son’s close friendship with him. He noted that everywhere Jack went, Billings was sure to follow, like a puppy dog. On school breaks, Jack often brought Billings home with him, sparking Joe Kennedy to complain to his wife, Rose, ‘Do we have to have that q***r around all summer?’