How Is Former ‘RHONY’ Carole Radziwill Related To John F. Kennedy Jr.?

There are few things fans don’t know about Carole Radziwill after six seasons on Bravo’s hit reality show the Real Housewives of New York, but one subject she rarely talked about was her connection to the Kennedys. Earlier this year, the former RHONY star opened up about her last interactions with John F. Kennedy Jr.’s wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, just hours before the family was tragically killed in a plane crash.

John F. Kennedy Jr.
John F. Kennedy Jr. | Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Sygma via Getty Images

Radziwill talks about the Kennedys

It has been 18 years since Carolyn and J.F.K. Jr. died in a tragic plane crash, and Radziwill recently opened up about her final interactions with the couple. According to Vanity Fair, Radziwill revealed that she was one of the last people to talk with Carolyn before she got on a plane to fly to a wedding on Martha’s Vineyard. The former RHONY star says that Carolyn called her right before they took off and the conversation they had still haunts her memory.

“I remember at the end she said, you know, ‘I love you.’ And, I don’t know, for some reason I didn’t say I love you back, and that always stuck with me,” Radziwill shared.

At the time of their deaths, the Kennedys were reportedly experiencing a rough time in their marriage. The couple had allegedly separated and were talking about getting a divorce. Things were so bad that Carolyn did not want to attend the wedding. She only went because her sister, Lauren, convinced her to go. Carolyn agreed but only if Lauren accompanied her to the ceremony.

Kennedy’s life was cut way too short

During their conversation, Radziwill revealed that Carolyn promised to call her when they had safely landed on the island. The journalist grew concerned when a friend called her around midnight wondering what was going on. The friend was supposed to pick up the Kennedys from the airport, but their plane never arrived.

Radziwill called the airport before informing the Coast Guard about the situation. Debris from the wreckage was discovered a few hours after Radziwill notified the Coast Guard. Radziwill was understandably devastated by the news, especially given how close she had become to the Kennedys over the years.

How is Carole Radziwill related to the Kennedys?

Radziwill was close to the Kennedys because her husband, Anthony Radziwill, was JFK Jr.’s cousin and best friend. In fact, Radziwill and her husband were both invited to the couple’s secret wedding in 1996. The ceremony was held on Cumberland Island and Radziwill recently revealed that it was a low-key affair.

The RHONY star also worked with Carolyn on the wedding plans and made sure that everything was kept out of the public eye. They even printed out wedding invitations at Radziwill’s office to avoid any leaks.

View this post on Instagram

St Barths circa 1993. Love.

A post shared by Carole Radziwill (@caroleradziwill) on

Although Radziwill and Carolyn were close, her husband’s battle with cancer put a strain on both marriages. Radziwill, who left RHONY last year, revealed that they were all committed to supporting Anthony throughout his illness, but his impending death proved difficult for everyone involved. Anthony passed away a month after the tragic plane crash.

Was Kennedy’s marriage in trouble?

In his book, The Reluctant Prince, author Steven M. Gillon claims that JFK Jr. and Carolyn were on the verge of a divorce in the weeks leading up to their deaths. Once named the most eligible bachelor in America, Gillon says that Kennedy Jr., thought his marriage would keep him out of the spotlight. But that never happened. If anything, marrying Carolyn created even more press, something he never wanted.

To make matters worse, Anthony’s cancer diagnosis devastated the Kennedys and allegedly put their relationship on the verge of ending. Gillon claims that Kennedy Jr. told his close friends that he was getting ready to split from Carolyn unless things changed.

In response to the shocking claims, Carole Radziwill denied the split rumors and said that Carolyn’s marriage was far from over prior to the crash. The RONY star admitted that her best friend’s marriage hit a rough spot because of Anthony’s battle with cancer, but they were not seriously contemplating a divorce. Instead, Radziwill said Anthony’s illness was difficult for everyone to handle because they knew the end was near.

This month marks the 18th anniversary of the death of JFK Jr. and Carolyn.