Remembering JFK Jr., 20 Years After His Death

The son of President John F. Kennedy is shown in a new light in "America's Reluctant Prince," a new book by historian Steven Gillon.

John F. Kennedy Jr. was at a crossroads at the time of his death 20 years ago. Foremost on his mind? His rocky marriage to Carolyn Bessette, his friend said. 

"They were constantly bickering and fighting over a whole series of things," historian Steve Gillon, a member of JFK Jr.'s inner circle, told Inside Edition. 

Gillon is the author of “America’s Reluctant Prince.” He interviewed many of John F. Kennedy Jr.’s closest friends, some of whom have never spoken out before.

"John, in that last year, told some people thinking about getting a divorce,” he said. “We'll never know whether or not if they would work out their differences." 

In the book, Gillon also revealed the cause of that infamous fight in New York’s Battery Park before the couple married. He said they were feuding over "Carolyn's ongoing complaint that John let people walk all over him."

They never got a chance to fix their marriage, however. In 1999, JFK Jr. died in a plane crash as he flew his wife and her sister, Lauren Bessette, on what was to be a routine trip from New York to Martha’s Vineyard. But he got turned around in thick fog and crashed.

His death kept him from pursuing his family's political legacy. "There’s no doubt that John, in the last couple years of his life, was considering going into politics,” Gillon said.

Asked why he's opening up now, Gillon said he feels it's his responsibility to do so.

“Like most of his friends, while he was alive I protected his privacy and now I feel, as his friend and as a historian, I have a responsibility to preserve his legacy,” he said. “John was incredibly decent, unpretentious guy."

Click here to read an excerpt from "America's Reluctant Prince."