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Posted at 2:00 PM ET, 03/10/2011

New memoir recounts relationship with JFK Jr.

By Stephen Lowman

haagcoverjpg.jpgChristina Haag begins her memoir describing the first kiss she shared with John F. Kennedy, Jr.

It’s the summer of 1985 and they’re staying at his mother’s house in rural New Jersey. It happened while they walked home through a field.

“Only our lips touched. It was gentle, hands-free, exquisite. I opened my eyes for a second, not believing that what I’d dreamed of was happening, and saw, by the lines of his eyes, that he was smiling. I held onto the fence, woozy. A world had opened.”

Spiegel & Grau will release Haag’s memoir, “Come To the Edge,” in May. It’s already been excerpted in Vanity Fair and, moreover, its contents embellished by headline writers. (“Ex-Girlfriend Reveals John F. Kennedy Jr.'s Wild Side: Memoir Details JFK Jr.'s Taste for Tantric Sex, Marijuana and Danger” wrote ABC News on its website.)

Of course, this will help sell copies. But it doesn’t reflect the tone of the book. “Come To the Edge” chronicles an affair of the heart, not the commotion between bed sheets.

Haag attended the same Upper East Side Catholic school as Caroline Kennedy and palled around in the same social circle as John. Later, she shared a house with him while they both attended Brown University. It wasn’t until after graduating, when they were cast as leads in a play, that the relationship turned romantic. They dated for about five years in the late 1980s.

She recalls eating tiramisu with him on the roof of her Park Slope brownstone and kissing in doorways while walking up Broadway during a June rainstorm. Once he tied red roses around her bike and left a note that said “You Rule My World.” Haag describes vacationing in Hyannis with his family and drinking mint tea with his mother, Jackie Onassis. Even after the relationship ended, Onassis (who was an editor at Doubleday) would send Haag books she thought the younger woman would enjoy.

The portion of the “Come To the Edge” receiving the most attention is the trip the couple took to Jamaica. He packed a book on Tantric sex a friend had given him. “‘It comes highly recommended,’ he said with a wink.”

“The idea of landing on one of those beaches and enacting our very own desert island Tantric sex fantasy was alluring,” Haag writes.

Later, he finishes “what was left of the joint” a Jamaican was smoking.

Those anecdotes may make for good reading in celebrity magazines, but Washington’s political wonks will be more interested in his connection to Christiane Amanpour.

Haag, Kennedy and Amanpour — who would become CNN’s most prominent foreign correspondent and now host’s ABC’s Sunday morning talk show, This Week — shared a house in Providence with two other students while they studied at Brown.

“Kissy, as Christiane was called, got the master bedroom, with the huge walk-in closet, across the hall. John ended up with the smallest room, which had just enough space for a desk and a bed, with the proviso that he and Kissy would switch the next year after the rest of us had graduated.”

By Stephen Lowman  | March 10, 2011; 2:00 PM ET
 
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