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DENIALS IN THE AIR

A new book on Frank Sinatra claims he spent the night with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1975.

"Sinatra: Behind the Legend," written by J. Randy Taraborrelli, also claims Ethel Kennedy persuaded her sister-in-law to end the relationship.

In the book, Taraborrelli claims Sinatra became fascinated with Onassis after meeting her when she was first lady. Their alleged night together began when Sinatra asked Onassis to accompany him to opening night of his concert with Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie in September 1975.

Onassis agreed and after the show the two went to the "21" Club before retiring to Sinatra's suite at the Waldorf, the book said.

Sinatra's friend, Jim Whiting, told Taraborrelli: "They absolutely were intimate. . . . That's for sure, because Frank said so years later."

Taraborrelli writes that Ethel Kennedy "worked Jacqueline into a fury" about Sinatra, saying he had supplied President Kennedy with women. Onassis then vowed never to see Sinatra again, he said.

Sinatra spokeswoman Susan Reynolds did not return a call. A telephone call to the Kennedy family's office was not returned late Monday, but Mrs. Kennedy's friend and former chief of staff, Letitia Baldrige, told the Daily News of New York that she doubted the report.

"I'm sure it never happened," Baldrige said. "It's total hearsay, fabrication, cocktail party chitchat . . . that then becomes fact in somebody's book."

Taraborrelli, a Los Angeles free-lance writer best-known for books about Motown artists, also wrote the 1991 unauthorized biography "Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness."

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