It is awfully embarrassing to realize that one’s “best friend” is really little more than an acquaintance by, say, not being included in their bridal party. But publishing a fawning memoir about a close friendship only to have reviewers point out that the relationship seems completely one-sided is a burn of an almost inconceivable degree.
In Carly Simon’s new memoir, Touched By the Sun: My Friendship With Jackie, Simon does not quite seem to grasp that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was not a very good friend. In one section, she describes needing to take a Valium in a restaurant bathroom after waiting hours for her “friend,” terrified that Jackie ditched her for something better. When Jackie finally arrived she claimed to have been “stuck in an elevator,” a story Simon, even after all these years still seems to buy.
A reviewer for Page Six, however, has pointed out that Simon’s relationship with Onassis does not sound at all like friendship, a revelation that the book’s editors were perhaps too kind to point out:
“When Jackie asks Simon to find a band to play daughter Caroline Kennedy’s wedding, the musician is not only flattered, but grateful. She books the band and even sings with them. It never occurs to her how canny Jackie was to snag a Grammy- and Oscar-winning artist for free.”
It is also the reviewer, not the author, who seems to have discovered that Onassis once deliberately lowballed her bestie on a book deal:
“When you worship the sun, you often get burnt. Early in their relationship, Jackie, by then a book editor, contracts with Simon to do a children’s book, and asks the singer to name her price. She does, only to have Jackie tell her, years later, that the $25,000 she requested was chicken feed. ‘Carly, you were screwed,’ Jackie says. Never mind that it was she who did the screwing.”
If there is also an anecdote in which Simon wistfully recounts a hilarious time when Jackie called to ask what she thought of Lee Radziwill’s clambake outfit only to laughingly reveal it had been a three-way call the whole time, this book will officially replace Mean Girls in my heart.