Other Man: A Love Story

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I found myself wondering what would have happened if I had said yes. . . . Would she be alive today? Would we be together? Would we be happy?

This is the story of a small-town kid who moved to the big city, fell in love with a beautiful, mysterious woman, and found himself in competition with the most eligible bachelor in the world, John F. Kennedy Jr.

Now, for the first time, Michael Bergin reveals the truth behind a life lived in the ...

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Overview

I found myself wondering what would have happened if I had said yes. . . . Would she be alive today? Would we be together? Would we be happy?

This is the story of a small-town kid who moved to the big city, fell in love with a beautiful, mysterious woman, and found himself in competition with the most eligible bachelor in the world, John F. Kennedy Jr.

Now, for the first time, Michael Bergin reveals the truth behind a life lived in the limelight and a relationship shrouded in secrecy. From his early days growing up in a small blue-collar Connecticut town, to his meteoric rise as fashion icon and television star, to the passion he shared with the enigmatic and complex Carolyn Bessette, this is an inside look at the world of beauty, power, and celebrity.

In 1992, Michael and Carolyn met in a bar in New York City. She was unlike any woman he had ever known — sophisticated, successful, with bewitching charm and grace. An intensely passionate relationship was born. Not long after, Michael landed the coveted Calvin Klein underwear campaign, and his career took off. The future looked bright, and Carolyn and Michael seemed destined for a long and happy life together.

But it was not to be. Four years later Michael was an international fashion icon and Carolyn was Mrs. John F. Kennedy Jr. — however, the story doesn’t end there. This is the truth about their lives, a tale full of warmth, humor, heartbreak, and tragedy.

.Above all, The Other Man is a testament to the enduring power of love and a story about the painful choices we make with our all-too-human hearts.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060723897
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/30/2004
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.96 (d)

First Chapter

The Other Man
John F. Kennedy Jr., Carolyn Bessette, and Me

Chapter One

Crazy In Love

In the summer f 1992, at the age of twenty-three, I moved to New York City and went to work as a hotel doorman.This wasn't exactly the culmination of a lifelong dream. I'd gone to Manhattan to become a model, and, in fact, I'd been signed two years earlier by Click, one of the more reputable agencies. But other than occasional low-paying gigs, I wasn't making much progress, and I was beginning to wonder why I'd ever left Naugatuck, Connecticut. You'd be hard-pressed to find it on a map, but I'd been born and raised there,and my family still calls it home.

I missed them. And I missed small-town life. I barely knew a soul in New York. I was renting a room on the Upper East Side from a girl I'd met at the hotel, but that was already becoming something of a problem. She was lonely too, and she had managed to convince herself, misguidedly, that I was the answer.

New York is very tough on lonely people. When my shift ended at the Paramount Hotel, I'd walk forty blocks from West Forty-sixth Street to the apartment in the East Eighties, and see all these happy couples on the street, arm in arm or hand in hand, smiling and cooing at each other, and I wondered when it was going to be my turn. I wanted to be happy too.

At night, I'd look at all the lit-up windows in the surrounding high-rises -- millions of them -- and I'd imagine all the happy people sitting down to dinner, watching a romantic movie on TV, then crawling into bed to make love for hours on end. When you're lonely, you tend to think you're the last lonely person in the world. You can't even imagine that there are there people out there -- single people, couples, even married people -- who are just as lonely as you are.

But they're out there, of course. They're everywhere. Some of them even stayed at the Paramount. There were women who would slip me their phone numbers when they tipped me, asking me to please call, they were available. And there were lonely men too. I remember one guest in particular, a man in his early forties, a regular: he always buzzed the front desk just as my shift was ending and asked the clerk to please send me up with the afternoon papers. It became something of a running joke at the hotel: "It's Michael's boyfriend again, pining for him." I'd go upstairs, newspapers in hand, and he'd open the door in the buff and ask me to come in.

"I can't," I'd say. "I'm sorry."

"Oh please, Michael. Just for a minute or two. You're so handsome."

"No," I'd repeat. "We're not allowed to fraternize with the guests, even on our own time."

And he'd look at me with those big puppy-dog eyes, like he was about to cry or something, and ask if I was sure. "I'll do anything, Michael. Anything at all. Just say the word. Tell me what you want. Spell it out."

To be honest, I felt kind of bad for the guy. I could relate to that kind of loneliness.

I was meeting people here and there, sure, but I couldn't afford to go out. And the problems with my roommate -- I'll call her Sara -- were only getting worse. She had taken to wandering around the apartment in nothing but sheer undies. She had a much nicer body than the lonely guy back at the hotel, and I was tempted, but I knew I'd only be asking for trouble. And I couldn't afford trouble -- couldn't afford much of anything, in fact.

I didn't get much modeling work that fall, but I got promoted to bellhop. I wasn't sure how to take this. Did it mean I was finished as a model? That my future was in hotels?

One night I was feeling pretty low, so I went out for a beer with a struggling actress who worked the desk at the hotel. She was feeling pretty low herself, and we ended up in bed together, but the relationship didn't last. They usually don't when they're based on mutual despair, I guess. But it went beyond that: she had a snore like a foghorn, and it kept me up all night. I needed my beauty sleep, especially if I had any hope at all of making it in the modeling business.

She wasn't exactly thrilled about getting dumped, and every time I walked past the front desk she gave me the evil eye. I kept thinking about quitting the job, but I wasn't getting more than an hour's work here and there as a model, and I couldn't leave -- not yet, anyway. So I scraped by. Day after day. Hoping for the big break and hustling off to one cattle call after another with the rest of the wannabe models in New York City.

Then it was back to the big glass doors at the Paramount Hotel.

"Welcome to the Paramount, Ms. Dunn." "Have a nice evening, Mrs. Freedman." "We've missed you, Mr. Goddard."

One day, en route to yet another casting call, I saw a fellow model on the subway. We both had our portfolios under our arms, clearly going to the same place. We half smiled, shrugged at each other, and got to talking. As it turned out, he was also repped by Click. When the subway reached the station, we walked over to the audition together ...

The Other Man
John F. Kennedy Jr., Carolyn Bessette, and Me
. Copyright © by Michael Bergin. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2008

    loved it!

    great book! i could not put it down!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2006

    Awesome, Love story, I truly loved it.

    I've injoyed reading your book Michael.It a great way to show the appreciation to a person that was a part of you inside your heart. Although there were some ups and downs in btw you and Corolyn I think she was the weekest part of it. And you did everything in your power to make her happy. But she choose some one else over you, and even then you were there for her. :-) You are a great person I whish i had a priveledge knowing you in person. -) You have a awesome baby there on the pisture. Thank you for the book. Have a great life. Your new book reader Elena.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2004

    A Love Story?

    I am SO glad that I did not pay money for this book (it was loaned to me by a co-worker). The best chapter was probably the last because it was the one that seemed the most honest and well-written (it was the only chapter where he used that god awful phrase 'a person I'll call 'XYZ'' once). And did anyone notice that the longest chapter was the second one - the one totally about HIS life? I had trouble reconciling this book as a love story and not a focused biography. Their relationship was weird and he should have gotten the hint when Carolyn didn't want to kiss him in public or call him her boyfriend or introduce him to any of her friends (save one or two). To say this man is 'self-centered' is a complete understatement. I would love to hear Carolyn's side of the story or even Gordon's might be interesting...but Michael's is just too much about Michael.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2004

    DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!

    This book reads like a bad script for a terrible movie of the week. It's suppose to be about an affair with Carolyn Bessette but ended up reminding me of a biograpy that is written on the back of a performer's photograph. Please, don't spend your money on this 'book'!!! There are so many other books that you can read and enjoy for the money you waisted on this piece of tabloid news.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2004

    Kiss and Tell

    There is a reason why most affairs are conducted in private their sensitive nature usually demands it.I wished the author had been more discreet i am not sure what his objective was for writing in such detail,but if it's his soul he wanted to clear i am sure therapy and keeping a private journal would have sufficed. I couldn't get into the book cause i was simply not able to shake the sense of betrayal i felt while reading it. Some secrets are meant to be carried to our graves...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2004

    True Feelings

    This was a fantastic book! I could not put it down! Michael was reveling his emotions about Carolyn...he couldn't have been anymore sincere and honest. He was truly in love with her. This book really shows how strong human emotions are, especially love. Love can make you feel like you are on top of the world, but it can also make you feel like nothing. It is indescribable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2004

    She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not . . . .

    Reading Bergin's account of his love affair with Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy made me realize that Carolyn was not nearly as torn between two lovers as she was torn from within. Beneath all the poise and elegance was a fragmented woman whose lack of both emotional resilience and strength of character unfortunately drove her to seek comfort in the arms of a former lover when her marriage was threatening to fall apart. I believe Carolyn loved John and that she married him because she craved the stability and security he seemed to offer. At his best, John was grounded and had a sense of calmness about him. However, he like everybody else had demons which, when combined with Carolyn¿s, turned their marriage into a battleground. In his book ¿American Son,¿ Richard Blow relates a conversation he had with Carolyn that reveals the depth of her love for John. Now, unless she had a multiple personality disorder, Bergin was not the great big love of her life as he so insists on believing. Instead, he was her one weakness, their relationship a form of codependency. They never shared anything beyond physical intimacy and though she seemed rather fixated with him, she also regarded him as a dear friend; her various gifts to him appeared to be from the heart. 'The Other Man' is not a testament to the enduring power of love. Rather, it's the private journal of a man infatuated with a woman whose love had always eluded him. A woman who turned to him in desperation rather than dedication. If Bergen insists on calling this love, then I guess it simply was a love never meant to be.... Oh, how I wish Michael Bergin had shown his worthiness of love by keeping the most intimate details of their relationship to himself as a sign of his loyalty and in honor of the power of enduring love.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2004

    Bergin getting Bum Rap!

    This was a fine and honest potrait of one man's experience! Bergin does NOT deserve all the heat he's been getting! (TY Star Jones,Liz Smith!) Does no one recall that it was the author Edward Klein who dragged Bergin publically into this sorry saga with his much maligned 'Kennedy Curse' book.???Bergin HAD to set the record straight from his point of view!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2004

    Accurate

    However maudlin this may appear to be, I believe it is an accurate view of the author's image of the relationship.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2004

    Been There, Done That

    Having been caught up in a love triangle myself, and yes, the abortion issue too, I can see why Carolyn kept going back to him. I find Michael to be a very real, loving, kind and gentle man. It helps to know that even the beautiful, rich and famous go through the same life struggles that we peons do. God Bless you Michael for baring your soul and sharing the realities of those who fall desperately in love!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2004

    Unbelievable

    How could a man reveal medical details that are embarrassing to a dead woman's family? If he had left out the abortions and the miscarriage, it would be still be filled with enough gossip to sell books. Why hurt a dead woman's family? and her memory?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2004

    Why so many bad reviews?

    Why is it that Michael Bergin, is taking all the heat for writing a book that shows his side of the story? It is very clear to me from the book that Mr. Bergin felt like getting the relationship out in the open to clear his soul. It seemed like he was trying to let go of the pain through writing this book. As for Carrolyn, just because she is dead does not make her immune from her actions. People still have to take responsibility for their behavior. I feel sympathy for Michael Bergin and John F. Kenedy Jr. because both were being used by Carolyn and her selfish, careless, wreckless behavior. Both men truly loved her and it appears she was only interested in JFK JR. because he had the prestige, the money, the power, the respect. I think that Mr. Bergin's story has the right to be heard, and respected because it is difficult for a man to admit to the country he was used and left by someone he loved dearly. I enjoyed the story, and had difficulty putting the book down. I think it is a very entertaining book to read and full of lessons of the heart.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2004

    LOVE

    I read the book not because I'm bored housewife, not because the gossip columns are my life. Everyone have the right to defend him/her self and thats what Michael Bergin did. The book is about LOVE, its just happened that this Love was mixed with the name KENNEDY. Such a heartbreak could happened to anyone, happened to me and I think I know how Michael felt. Yes, this is not a Shakespeare sonnet or wisdom, but it is a touching human story. The fashion world he describes is as rutles and cruel as it's writen. I've been there and agree with him.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2004

    This Book Will Sell. Yes, It Will.

    'Above all, The Other Man is a testament to the enduring power of love and a story about the painful choices we make with our all-too-human hearts'. Just reading this hackneyed cliche tells it all. Let the dead rest and peace and make money in a more honorable way or 'fashion'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2004

    Great Book!

    When I heard about the book I told myself I have to read it.I bought it and could not put it down.Great book Lots of True Emotion!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2004

    I know this much to be true, he loved her.

    This story needed to be told. Peter Bergin comes across as a very caring individual. Why hide in the shadows and pretend six years never happened? You go Peter!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2004

    Wannabe: A Self-Love Story

    This story should be read with a critical mind. Carolyn Kennedy is dead and cannot defend herself. This book is self-serving and perhaps, an exploitation of the dead.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2004

    Why believe this garbage?

    Just because Michael Bergin wrote this does not for one minute make it true ! It seems to me that he is trying to make himself look like a BIG MAN . These people are not alive to defend themselves so it is all speculation. The book is more about Michael's life and childhood, troubles than about Carolyn or John. He sure did put enough of his own pics in the book. Do not believe everything you read. Carolyn was not at all like that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2004

    The Other Man: A Lust Story

    I must confess to never having read the entire book,and only a few excerpts from it which appeared in the New York Post. When life throws you a tragedy, what better way to express your anguish than to write an extended version of every national enquirer issue, combined into one sorry excuse for a tragic love story, and to make money off of it. I've never read anything filled with more platitudes and cliches in my entire life, although i'm quite certain it will serve to more than satisfy people's still lingering, burning desire to know the 'truth' about the lives of America's prince and his disturbed princess. I am sorry and disappointed that even the dead are not safe from the gossip and scandals that have become more of a necessity to the American public than oxygen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2004

    In very poor taste

    It is a shameful piece of gabbage, driven simply by the desire to make money. The mere fact that a Kennedy is mentioned is enough to sell the book. Since when did we start to treat the dead this way? Caroline's parents deserve better.

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