- Frank Sinatra told his daughter Tina that he was involved
with the Mafia in helping John F Kennedy win the crucial West Virginia
primary election in 1960, she claims in her autobiography.
- The singer's connection with the Mob has long been suspected,
but FBI files show that J Edgar Hoover, the bureau chief, was never able
to find evidence. Tina, 52, says in her book My Father's Daughter, to be
published next week, that he told her all about it.
- Sinatra said that Joseph Kennedy, who was masterminding
his son's campaign, contacted him, anxious to get the Mafia's help in securing
the trade union vote. This was in the gift of Sam Giancana, who ruled much
of the Chicago underworld. Tina says that her father was approached because
Joseph Kennedy "knew dad had access to Sam Giancana".
- She writes: "It would be in Jack Kennedy's best
interest if his father did not make the contact directly. Dad was on an
errand." Tina says Sinatra told her that he had agreed to act as a
go-between and that Giancana said he would help the Kennedys. The mobster
told him: "It's a couple of phone calls."
- But after Kennedy reached the White House he told his
brother Robert, the attorney general, to crack down on the Mafia. Tina
said that Giancana, thinking that the Kennedys were reneging on a deal,
- "Sam was saying: 'That's not right. You know he
owes me', meaning Joe Kennedy. Dad, I think, said: 'No, I owe you. I asked
for the favour'." Tina says that, to repay the gangster, her father
"went to Chicago and played in Giancana's club, the Villa Venice".
The singer took his fellow "rat packers", Dean Martin and Sammy
Davis Jnr, with him to stage a demanding 16 shows in eight days.
- Tina also claims that Sinatra acted as a courier for
the Central Intelligence Agency. "Because he controlled his own air
travel, the CIA would ask him - and many others with that capacity - to
courier a body, a living person, you know, not a corpse, but a diplomat,
or papers." Sinatra never revealed who or what he was transporting.
Tina says: "We asked him; he didn't say."
- The book is expected to make relations with Tina's stepmother
Barbara even frostier. Tina, Nancy and Frank Jnr, the children of Sinatra's
first marriage to Nancy, have never got on with his fourth wife, who was
with him when he died in 1998 at the age of 82. Tina told CBS that none
of them was told immediately that Sinatra had died.
- "There were 80 minutes between his arriving at the
hospital and expiring. We just weren't called. Barbara didn't want us called.
Why she didn't want to call us, I can only imagine." Writing of her
father's last concerts, when he often forgot his words, Tina says: "I
begged him to stop." But Sinatra, despite his wealth, told her he
needed to keep making money.
- Suffering from dementia and physical illness, he lost
his taste for life. "None of us thought he would become that frail.
It's funny how you delude yourself. When he died I think he was unhappy;
he was tired and I think he was ready."
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