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New Book Suggests Richard Nixon Had a Gay Affair

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By all accounts, Charles G. "Bebe" Rebozo and Richard Nixon were close friends for more than four decades: Nixon's winter home in Key Biscayne was not far from Rebozo's home, and the two enjoyed boating, swimming and golfing together. Nixon was the first depositor at Rebozo's bank. He was at Rebozo's home in June 1972 when he first heard of the Watergate break-in — the pair laughed it off. Rebozo was with Nixon the night the president decided to resign from office. But a new book by veteran White House reporter Don Fulsom "Nixon's Darkest Secrets: The Inside Story of America's Most Troubled President" suggests that Nixon and Rebozo were more than just friends.

The evidence culled from the book is all circumstantial, but reviewers are cherry-picking the juiciest gossip about a relationship the New York Times didn't dare to mention for two decades. Fulsom's quotes a former Time magazine reporter who bent down to pick up a fork and saw the two men holding hands under the table at a Washington dinner, according to the Daily Mail. Another journalist recalled that a drunk Nixon once put his arm around Rebozo "the way you'd cuddle your senior prom date. Something was fishy there." The book claims one of Nixon's aides had the job of training him how to kiss his wife convincingly. Rebozo himself was rumored to have had a gay affair in his youth with a man named Donald Gunn and then married Dunn's sister — but the woman said their 4-year marriage was never consummated.

Rebozo — who was rumored to have mafia ties — enjoyed special perks as the friend of the president: he reportedly got his own office and bedroom at the White House, he flew on Air Force One and he got into Nixon's hotel suite during a trip to Europe. The book notes that Rebozo got caught up in the Watergate scandal when a $100,000 cash contribution from Howard Hughes meant for the Republican Party ended up in Rebozo's safe deposit box. When Rebozo died over a decade ago, he left most of his estate to the Nixon Library.

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Of course, it's worth noting that Nixon publicly said nasty things about gays. When one of his close aides was caught having sex with a sailor in a YMCA, Nixon called him "ill" and said that gays "cannot be in places of high trust." The video above also captures some of his anti-gay views.