RoseMarie Terenzio is a New York City public relations executive who was chief of staff to John F. Kennedy Jr. and who wrote a book about his life, death, and marriage to Carolyn Bessette.
On Twitter, Terenzio describes herself as “RMT PR Management founder. Author of New York Times bestseller Fairy Tale Interrupted.” The book detailed her time working for Kennedy and her observations of his marriage before the plane crash that killed JFK Jr., Carolyn Bessette, and her sister, Lauren Bessette.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Terenzio Was in Her 20s When She Went to Work for John F. Kennedy Jr.
Terenzio knew a lot about – and was close to – John F. Kennedy Jr. because she worked as his chief of staff. According to Forbes Magazine, “She was a twenty-something account executive-turned-assistant when she first started working for one of the most famous men in the world.”
According to her company website, “Prior to launching RMT, RoseMarie served as John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s chief of staff, managing a 40-person team at George Magazine. She oversaw Kennedy’s public relations and philanthropic causes, and served as a board member for his nonprofit, Reaching Up.”
She was in charge of helping to keep Kennedy’s 1996 wedding to Carolyn Bessette a secret – a challenge that was accomplished as the press didn’t find out about the nuptials until after they had already happened.
To Fox News, she explained of the job: “He never really had an assistant. John and I just started kind of a banter of making fun of each other and teasing each other. It just worked out. And he went, ‘Well, why don’t you come work for me?’ And I said, ‘Well, what do you do?’ And he said, ‘This magazine and hopefully that’s what we’re going to be doing.’”
2. RoseMarie Terenzio’s Firm Is a Full Service Public Relations & Talent Management Firm in New York
The website for the film that Terenzio founded describe RMT PR Management as “a full service public relations and talent management firm in New York City. The firm’s client base includes fashion, lifestyle, crisis management, politics, non-profit, health and wellness, and publishing.”
The site continues, “RoseMarie Terenzio is the founder & CEO of RMT PR Management, a public relations and strategic communications firm focused on media, politics, crisis communications, publishing, hospitality, fashion and technology.”
She told Forbes Magazine, “I took everything I learned from John and George and incorporated it into my business. I’m not afraid to take on a client, I know I’ll figure it out or find someone to help me figure it out. You have ups and downs in a business and sometimes it’s slow, sometimes it’s great but if you can ride the ups and downs, it’s a great experience to be an entrepreneur.”
3. RoseMarie Terenzio Has Handled High Profile Clients in Crisis, Including Rielle Hunter
According to her company website, RoseMarie Terenzio’s specialty is, in part, handling high-profile people who find themselves in public crises. Among them: Rielle Hunter, who had a baby with former presidential candidate and U.S. Senator John Edwards.
“RoseMarie has consulted for major media outlets like ABC News, 20/20 and Good Morning America, brands including NOBU, Lucky Brand, Me & Ro Jewelry, and tech companies like Moven, Synechron and Hackateer Ventures. Her crisis clients have included Senator John Edwards and Rielle Hunter, Stephanie Madoff and Aaron Fisher, known as Jerry Sandusky’s ‘Victim 1’ in the Penn State sex abuse scandal,” her website explains.
4. Terenzio’s Book Says She Tried to Talk Carolyn Out of Going on the Doomed Flight & She Also Helped Make a Documentary About JFK Jr.
Over the years, Terenzio did not stay quiet about her friend, JFK Jr. She wrote a book about him and helped make a documentary about him. Her 2012 book on her former boss was called Fairy Tale Interrupted: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss.
The book blurb on Amazon describes by saying: “From the moment RoseMarie Terenzio unleashed her Italian temper on the entitled nuisance commandeering her office in a downtown New York PR firm, an unlikely friendship bloomed between the blue-collar girl from the Bronx and John F. Kennedy Jr.”
“Many books have sought to capture John F. Kennedy Jr.’s life. None has been as intimate or as honest as Fairy Tale Interrupted. Recalling the adventure of working as his executive assistant for five years, RoseMarie portrays the man behind the icon—patient, protective, surprisingly goofy, occasionally thoughtless and self-involved, yet capable of extraordinary generosity and kindness. She reveals how he dealt with dating, politics, and the paparazzi, and describes life behind the scenes at George magazine. Captured here are her memories of Carolyn Bessette, how she orchestrated the ultra-secretive planning of John and Carolyn’s wedding on Cumberland Island—and the heartbreak of their deaths on July 16, 1999, after which RoseMarie’s whole world came crashing down around her.”
According to The Washington Post, Terenzio liked both JFK Jr. and his wife and described Carolyn as frustrated by the media scrutiny fame brought. She also said that she had talked Carolyn into attending the wedding that led to the doomed flight.
5. Terenzio Has Worked for the Democratic National Committee
Terenzio has had some political involvement.
“Beginning in 2000, RoseMarie worked for the Democratic National Committee managing celebrity outreach and producing media appearances for presidential campaigns,” her bio says. “She also supported Simon & Schuster on the launch of James Carville and Paul Begala’s “Buck Up, Suck Up … and Come Back When You Foul Up: 12 Winning Secrets from the War Room,” hosting large-scale events with President Bill Clinton and Harry Reid.”