Tags: carly simon | jackie onassis | deathbed | farewell

Carly Simon Describes Her Deathbed Farewell to Jackie Kennedy

Carly Simon Describes Her Deathbed Farewell to Jackie Kennedy

By    |   Tuesday, 22 October 2019 12:34 PM

Iconic singer-songwriter Carly Simon and Jackie Kennedy Onassis struck up an unlikely friendship in 1983 when they were introduced by the former first lady's son at a restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard.

The two remained close friends for over a decade, until Onassis’ death in 1994. Simon was by her side when she passed away and will always remember how "ravishing" her friend looked during those final hours of her life.

"It’s seared in my brain what she looked like," Simon told NBC News in a candid interview. "She was so ravishing, and wearing this little handkerchief scarf, paisley scarf on her head, and looking so beautiful and so regal and so finally at home."

Simon recalled how she stood by her friend's bed, holding her hand, and told her she loved her.

"John was standing at the end of her bed with his hands neatly folded and Maurice [Tempelsman, her companion] was there with his hands folded and they were both praying over her," she said, referring to her friend's son, John F. Kennedy Jr., and her longtime companion, Maurice Tempelsman.

"The record of the Gregorian chants was playing in the background,” Simon added. “And it was just one of those moments that you just can’t — I couldn't believe I was there — I couldn't believe that my friend was slipping away."

It was a bittersweet ending to a friendship shared by two women with completely different personalities, and a 16 year age gap. Simon is known for her free-spirited nature while to the public Onassis was more of a private and reserved person. However, behind the scenes things were not as they appeared.

"She was a naughty girl and she liked that in herself and she liked it in other people," Simon said. However, Onassis "didn't have a license to be free" and had to live her life in a more restrained manner.

"I think she saw in me something that she wanted to have a little bit of herself," Simon added. "I think she saw a free spirit who had the license to be, in a rock and roll kind of way, loose as a goose. And I could smoke a joint if I wanted to."

As the years progressed, Onassis became somewhat of a mother figure to Simon, providing her support and guidance that her own mother did not always offer.

"She gave me advice like nobody else did," Simon said. "Other people would be too nervous to tell me what they really thought about certain things." Onassis on the other hand was honest and upfront.

"She was being the mother that I never had," Simon said. "And she was not judging me. She was just so supportive and funny at the same time."

Simon has written a new book, "Touched by the Sun: My Friendship with Jackie" in which she describes her relationship with Onassis at length.

The American singer said she realized the book may draw criticism but explained that her intentions are only good and she hoped it would be accepted "in the spirit in which it was meant, which was with utter warmth."

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Iconic singer-songwriter Carly Simon and Jackie Kennedy Onassis struck up an unlikely friendship in 1983 when they were introduced by the former first lady's son at a restaurant on Martha's Vineyard.The two remained close friends for over a decade, until Onassis' death in...
carly simon, jackie onassis, deathbed, farewell
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Tuesday, 22 October 2019 12:34 PM
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