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Ellen Rometsch (born September 19, 1936 in Kleinitz, Germany) was rumored to be an East German Communist spy who was assigned on diplomatic cover to the West German embassy in Washington, D.C. during the early 1960s. She had fled East Germany with her parents in 1955. She married German air force sergeant Rolf Rometsch, who was stationed at the West German embassy. She is also widely thought in some Washington journalism circles to have been one of President John F. Kennedy's girlfriends during the height of the Cold War. However, the FBI never turned up "any solid evidence" that Rometsch was a spy or that she had relations with President Kennedy.
Rometsch was expelled from the U.S. in August 1963 "because of her behavior in Washington", behavior which threatened to have scandalous overtones reminiscent of the Profumo Affair in England. Rometsch had worked as a hostess at the Quorum Club located in the Carroll Arms Hotel adjacent a Senate office building. It was a place for lawmakers and other influential men to meet for food, drink, and ladies. She disclosed details of the hostess service, which provided members of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives with access to prostitutes.
The scandal involving Rometsch was brought to public attention through a report by Clark R. Mollenhoff in the October 26, 1964 issue of the Des Moines Register.[page needed] Mollenhoff said her circle included "some high White House figures" and that she led a life that "could not be financed on the pay of a non commissioned West German soldier."
Rometsch was an alleged call girl, which she denied, and was suspected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as working as an East German spy. Although FBI director J. Edgar Hoover met privately with Senators' Mike Mansfield and Everett Dirksen telling them there was "no evidence" that Rometsch was a spy, he then proceeded to tell them details about the senators who had been "entertained" by Quorum Club girls. Robert Kennedy desired to squelch any press reports of his brother's alleged involvement with Rometsch, which led him to seek Hoover's help in discouraging any mention of the Rometsch "allegations" in the Senate investigation of Bobby Baker, who held the post of Senate Secretary for the Majority until he resigned in October, 1963. According to biographer Evan Thomas, Robert Kennedy had Rometsch deported to cover-up an alleged extramarital affair John Kennedy had with her. Rometsch denied the sexual and spying allegations.
- Thomas, Evan (2000). Robert Kennedy: His Life. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. p. 255.
- Thomas, Evan (2000). Robert Kennedy: His Life. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. pp. 255–256.
- Reuters, U.S. 'Profumo' Scandal About to Break", Toledo Blade, October 27, 1963
- Dallek, Robert (2003). John F. Kennedy: An Unfinished Life 1917-1963. Little, Brown & Company. ISBN 9780316172387. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
- Clark R. Mollenhoff, quoted in United Press, "Paper Says Senate Inquiry to be in Secret", Toledo Blade, October 27, 1963
- Thomas, Evan (June 2, 2017). "We may owe our lives to a back channel with Russia". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
- Thomas, Evan (2000). Robert Kennedy: His Life. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. pp. 255, 256, 263, 268.
- Thomas, Evan (2000). Robert Kennedy: His Life. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. pp. 263, 268.
- "Investigations: Bobby's High Life". Time Magazine. Vol. 82 no. 19. Time Inc. November 8, 1963.
- FBI file on Rometsch
- http://wissen.spiegel.de/wissen/image/show.html?did=46172655&aref=image036/2006/03/06/cqsp196345099-P2P-099.pdf&thumb=false[permanent dead link]