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Man claims to be JFK's son

Douglas Caddy

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"We need JFK DNA'

Is well-dressed Vancouverite Jack Worthington actually John F. Kennedy's third child? Are there more?

Chris Selley | Feb 13, 2008 | 1:51 pm EST




UPDATE: The identity and portrait of the man claiming to be John F. Kennedy's illegitimate son have been revealed: he is Jack Worthington, born on November 22, 1961—two years to the day before his purported father was assassinated in Dallas. Mr. Worthington came forward with new information and agreed to be photographed, the Globe reports, after a "Vancouver publication"—that would be CanWest's Province—revealed his identity on Tuesday.

In the opinion of British tabloid The Sun, the heavily watermarked photo "shows a similarity" to Kennedy. Not all commenters at the Globe are entirely convinved, however. "He looks like a Kennedy," someone calling himself Winston O'Boogie concedes. "But then again, he also looks like Bob Costas."

As for the "potentially profound impact" Worthington said the revelations in a Vanity Fair article about him might have, the Globe revealed further details that could intrigue conspiracy buffs. "Part of [Vanity Fair's] research focuses on my mother's paternal family and their history as lifelong political allies of [Lyndon Johnson] in South Texas," he told the Toronto publication. "That research is related to the rise of LBJ and fall of JFK, which is an extraordinarily sensitive topic to Americans."

President Johnson, famously, was sworn in aboard Air Force One less than two hours after the "fall of JFK." Meanwhile, somewhere, Jack Worthington was celebrating his second birthday. What it all means is anybody's guess, and guesses are welcome at chris.selley@macleans.rogers.com.

Is John Kennedy Jr. alive and well and living in Vancouver? Well, a John Kennedy Jr., perhaps. If a certain "tall, slim" lotus-lander "with a freckled complexion, hazel eyes, … thick reddish-brown hair" and impeccable taste in haberdashery proves not to be a complete nutter, the Kennedys may soon be adding yet another chapter to their scandal-tinged family memoirs.

The New York Post's Page Six gossip column broke the story last week, reporting that Vanity Fair had a bombshell on its hands but had decided to hold off on the story until "proof" of the Vancouverite's lineage could be established. This reportedly followed a "courtesy call" to Senator Ted Kennedy that, as one might expect, did not elicit any courtesy in return. Renowned photographer Harry Benson had already been sent to Vancouver to shoot "the tall, handsome man in his late 40s - whose first name is Jack and who bears a strong resemblance to the 35th president," Page Six reported.

The Globe and Mail picked up on the story the next day, at which point the man named Jack decided he'd try to nip speculation in the bud. The Globe's Marsha Lederman confirmed "a striking resemblance" between the two men and noted his "perfectly straight teeth."

"[A]s soon as he walked through the door I knew it was him," Lederman told CTV of her meeting with the man in an undisclosed "public place" in Vancouver. "He certainly does bear a striking resemblance to John F. Kennedy."

He told Lederman that his wife is Canadian, but that he'd only recently moved to B.C. He claimed to "work in business," to be free of money troubles, and to be willing to pledge to the Kennedy family that he would never seek profit from his story. Indeed, he'll probably need their help if he or Vanity Fair are ever going to prove his lineage.

"Vanity Fair needs help," he told the Globe. "We need JFK DNA and, barring that, DNA from any male Kennedy directly related to Joe Kennedy [JFK's father], either in the U.S. or Ireland [for a Y chromosome analysis]."

Intriguingly, he said the story in Vanity Fair wasn't about the "silly, trivial 'discovery of JFK's illegitimate son,' " but that it would have a "potentially profound impact." Lederman told CTV he declined to elaborate on this teasing statement.

Macleans.ca welcomes any information, speculation, Kennedy DNA, photographs of JFK look-alikes or other claims to be illegitimate offspring of Camelot at chris.selley@macleans

Edited by Douglas Caddy
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