After nearly a century of rumors and speculation, genetic testing has confirmed the 29th president of the United States had a child out of wedlock while in office, ABC News reported.
President Warren Harding, who died of a heart attack in 1929 at the age of 57, never acknowledged his paternity of the child.
After his death, Nan Britton came forward and revealed that her daughter Elizabeth Ann was Harding’s child in a 1927 autobiography, The President’s Daughter.
In her book, Britton detailed her six-year affair with the former president, including one encounter in a White House closet.
Her book was met with public ridicule and dismissed as pornographic fiction, ABC said. A book was even published to counter her claims.
Historian James Robenalt compares Britton to Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern who was similarly derided after she revealed her affair with then President Bill Clinton.
“Nan Britton was someone who had to live through a lot of attacks … and I think her story was a lot like Monica Lewinsky because there was a real shaming process,” Robenalt said.
“She was just picking up for her daughter, who we now know was Harding’s daughter, and she was just viciously attacked for it.”
Recent DNA testing by Ancestry.com has proven that James Blaesing, the son of Harding’s biological daughter, Elizabeth Ann, is the second cousin of the president’s grandnephew Peter Harding and his grandniece Abigail Harding, the US network said.
It was Harding’s grandnephew Peter who sought to prove Britton’s story after reading her book.
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