The gossip web site TMZ.com today published a photo purporting to show John F. Kennedy frolicking on a yacht with naked women. Meanwhile, the image actually appeared as part of a November 1967 Playboy photo spread, The Smoking Gun has learned. The TMZ hoax was billed as an "exclusive" featuring a photo that "could have altered world events" had it surfaced prior to his presidential campaign. "It could have torpedoed his run, and changed world history," the site added. In reality, the photo appeared in story about Playboy's "Charter Yacht Party: How to Have a Ball on the Briny with an Able-Bodied Complement of Ship's Belles." As seen in the below page from the November 1967 issue, the Playboy photo is in color. The "Exclusive" TMZ image is the same photo, just reproduced in black and white, The Smoking Gun reports.
This morning, the gossip site TMZ breathlessly reported that they discovered a picture of then-Senator John F. Kennedy frolicking on a yacht in the Mediterranean with several naked women while a then-pregnant Jackie stayed at home. The grainy, black-and-white photograph was called "The JFK Photo That Could Have Changed History," and the accompanying text indicated that if the American public had obtained graphic proof of JFK's philandering, they might have ignored Nixon's sweaty debate performance and elected him instead.
The Smoking Gun went back though their archives until they located the issue from November 1967, when the photo that TMZ claimed showed JFK and several naked ladies on a yacht in the fifties actually ran in color with an article entitled "Charter Yacht Party: How to Have a Ball on the Briny with an Able-Bodied Complement of Ship's Belles."
The model TMZ's experts mistook for JFK was called "Andy" by the Playboy editors,. To add insult to injury, "Andy" was reportedly sunning himself on deck near Petit Rameau, an island in the Grenadines--which is in the Caribbean, not the Mediterranean, Air America reports.
News agencies also report, two Kennedy biographers also told TMZ that after examining the image, they believe the man to be JFK.
Although the photo's original owner has not been revealed, the image was eventually given to a man who owned an East Coast car dealership. TMZ reports that the man kept the photo in a drawer and would take it out to brag to friends. After the man died a decade ago, his sons inherited the photo.
Several books and articles have reported that in August 1956, Kennedy spent two weeks on a boating trip in the Mediterranean. A senator at the time, Kennedy was vacationing with his brother Ted Kennedy and Sen. George Smathers. The three men allegedly invited a number of women on the yacht, The New York Daily News reports.