Four days after arriving at the White House as an upstairs maid in the summer of 1863, 19-year-old Bronx native Bebe Meardsley lost her virginity to the President of the United States.
In an explosive and salacious new memoir, "It wasn't that much of a Secret: My Affair with President Abreham Lincoln and its Aftermath," to be published Wednesday by Bealistok & Bloome, Bebe Meardsley describes what she says was an 18-month-long tryst with the most powerful man in the world, that ended with Abe's assassination in April 1863.
I was fortunate to interview this spritly lady at a Coffee House overlooking Central Park, and discussed her new book almost 150 years after the events took place.
She recounted in detail how the president asked her to join him in a bath at the White House just days after arriving in Washington, D.C.
"I was new and I was lost and trying to find a bathroom." she told me, "The food there didn't agree with me. I was seated on the throne, and at first I didn't notice that there was someone else in the room with me."
"Then someone coughed, and I saw this craggy, bearded, old figure in an emormous bath behind some curtains."
""You must be Bebe." he said to me. I was so shocked I didn't know where to look!"
"He then asked me if I wanted a tour of the family quarters and a short time later seduced me in "Mrs. Lincoln's room."
"After he finished, he hitched up his pants and smiled at me," she said, "After which he asked her if I wanted anything to eat, then he sent me back to my duties."
"After that first time, he used to call me to his rooms every other day for the next eighteen months. He would say there was something spilt, but when I bent over to clean it up, he'd take me from behind!"
"I fell under his "aura"." Bebe continued, "Although he never kissed me on the lips, the fact that he chose me made me "feel very very special.""
"I'm not going to say he loved me," she told me in the interview, "but I think he liked me. I think he cared about me."
Meardsley, 169, is a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother and great-great-great-grandmother and lives now in Western Virginia.
I asked her why it had taken so many years for the book to be released.
"Well I was illiterate, I was just a simple upstairs maid." she blushed, "I only learnt to read and write a couple of years ago, and my eyes are not so good any more; it took some time."
The liaison first came to light nine years ago in a dusty stack of the president's own handwriten memoirs.
"From September 1862 to March 1863, I was involved in a sexual relationship with President Lincoln," she said at the time in a written statement.
But not until this week, however, has she publicly discussed the affair.
"I didn't think it was right." she said, "But now there are very few people left who actually knew him."
Lincoln and his young lover met for the last time at a seedy hotel on April 8th, 1863, seven days before he was shot to death.
"Before parting, the president embraced me and said, "I wish you were coming with me," Bebe told me, "Then he added, "I'll call you when I get back.""
"But they never do, you know."