'I THOUGHT CAROLYN WOULD BE PROUD'

Michael Bergin may not be much of an actor; his last part was in a film called "Autopsy Room Four." And his modeling career--once reaching the heights of a Calvin Klein underwear ad--is as over as his small part on "Baywatch." But with last week's release of "The Other Man: A Love Story, John F. Kennedy Jr., Carolyn Bessette, & Me," Bergin joined the top ranks of celebrity cads. In painfully earnest prose, the book reveals intimate details of his relationship with Bessette before (and supposedly during) her marriage, and claims that she had two abortions.

While the book received tabloid headlines, few regard Bergin as an authoritative biographer. Bergin himself says that this first book will probably be his last. "I don't consider myself an author," he told NEWSWEEK. "Do you?" The book is a collection of photos and banal moments, like the time at 13 Bergin tried--and failed--to lose his virginity. Why did he feel the need to add his unique perspective five years after the couple's tragic death? "My purpose was to set the record straight," Bergin insists. "I'm a hypocrite for saying that I want the families to stop hurting because I know [my book] is going to stir up a lot of emotions." But he says telling the truth will help give everyone closure. "When I decided to write the book I was considering Carolyn, and her name, and her family the most," he says. "I wrote the book thinking Carolyn would be proud of me." Although his own father repeatedly urged him not to write it, Bergin says he did the right thing. "I wanted John and Carolyn to rest in peace." Much too late for that.

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