Jerry Lewis was known as a comedy king, not a lady killer, but rumors about his romantic flings with his leading ladies have been circulating for decades. Lewis, who died on Sunday at age 91, was married twice and had six sons. And while he juggled careers as a comedian, movie star and even chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, legend has it Jerry Lewis was also one of Hollywood’s biggest lotharios.
In a 2011 interview with GQ, Jerry Lewis revealed that the stories about his playboy ways were mostly true during his reign as comedy king alongside comedy partner Dean Martin. Jerry downplayed rumors that he slept with all of his leading ladies even after splitting from Martin and making movies solo (this can’t be true, he joked, since one of his co-stars was Agnes Moorehead, a great actress, but no bombshell), but he acknowledged that he wasn’t entirely faithful to his first wife.
Jerry Lewis told GQ it’s “not good press” to rattle off a list of his lovers. But later in the interview, Jerry announced that his close friend President John F. Kennedy never had an affair with Marilyn Monroe, admitting that he did instead.
“I’m telling you what I know,” Jerry said. “Never! And the only reason I know is because I did. Okay?”
Jerry Lewis went on to say that Marilyn Monroe used sex to make an emotional connection with people, the same way he did with humor.
“She needed that contact to be sure it was real,” Lewis said.
Jerry Lewis name dropped a bit more when describing what it was like to be with Marilyn Monroe.
“It was…long,” Jerry said.
“I was crippled for a month. And I thought Marlene Dietrich was great!”