Most people would jump at the chance to spend any time at all at the Kennedy compound with America’s most prominent family. Carolyn Bessette was not most people.
According to The Kennedy Heirs by J. Randy Taraborrelli, John F. Kennedy Jr.’s wife resisted visiting his relatives in Hyannis Port every time the topic was broached. Taraborrelli described Bessette’s reluctance to visit the compound and Kennedy’s insistence that she do so as the “recurring argument” the couple “just couldn’t seem to settle no matter how many times they tried.”
Part of the reason Bessette objected to these visits was because she didn’t feel that she fit in with the athletic Kennedy crew. She wasn’t exactly in her element during the family’s competition-heavy get-togethers (though she wasn’t the only one). But perhaps the more pressing reason she wanted to avoid the Cape was the paparazzi.
Bessette and Kennedy were hounded by the paparazzi in their five years together, and while John had grown more-or-less used to it throughout his incredibly public life, Carolyn was deeply affected by the invasion of privacy. Her distaste for the paparazzi only grew in the aftermath of Princess Diana’s 1997 death.
Though at first she thought the Kennedy compound was a hideaway from the media, she changed her mind after seeing a photographer shoot her from the pier one day. “Now she felt she had to put on an act for public consumption, which added a new level of angst to going to the compound,” Taraborrelli wrote. “She was still taking pills just to get through it, she confided in certain people, and an occasional line of coke, too.”
John wasn’t exactly understanding of Carolyn’s objections. According to Taraborrelli, Kennedy once brought up their recurring disagreement at dinner with friends, telling her, “Fine. Don’t come with me, hell if I care.” When she began to cry, he told her, “You’re crying because you don’t want to have fun on the beach with my family? I don’t get you, Carolyn.” He thought she’d at least appeared to be having a good time during their trips. In response, Carolyn left the restaurant and went home.