JFK Jr. speaks publicly about his father for the first time

Published May 21, 1992|Updated Oct. 11, 2005

John F. Kennedy Jr. says he will not see the controversial film JFK about his father's assassination and wonders whether the senior Kennedy would go into politics today "given the tenor of the times."

Speaking publicly for the first time about his father, the 31-year-old lawyer said in an interview with ABC's Prime Time Live to be broadcast tonight at 10 that he won't see Stone's film "because that's not entertainment for me."

Interviewer Jay Schadler asked Kennedy about the stories that have appeared about his father's private life, saying, "Do you think that had that been dealt with by the press . . . it would have tarnished the image we have of him?"

Kennedy, who appeared on the program with his sister Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, responded: "I think the real question is whether or not given the tenor of the times, my father would have gone into politics at this point."

The young Kennedy refused to be drawn into a discussion of his father's assassination or the theories expounded in JFK that the murder was a conspiracy.

"That act, that day does not have much to do with my life. My father's life has to do with my life," said Kennedy, who was just three days shy of his third birthday when his father was killed Nov. 22, 1963.

Asked if he believed the Warren Commission's conclusion that his father was killed by a single assassin, Kennedy said, "I'll leave it to people to quarrel about or discern or analyze . . . and just walk away from it."

He and his sister appeared on the program to talk about the "Profiles in Courage Awards," an honor in memory of their father, which this year will be given to Connecticut Gov. Lowell Weicker for his unpopular decision to enact a state income tax.

Schlossberg said she thought her father's greatest legacy was "the way he inspired so many people and especially young people to get involved in politics and public service."