Just when you thought that the 37th president of the United States could not be any worse, new skeletons have come out of the closet.

In a new book called The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon, authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan allege that at one point in 1962, Nixon's aides had to pull him off his wife Pat after a beating that left her face so bruised she could not go out in public.

The book describes incidents where he told her to "Keep your fucking mouth shut..." in front of others after losing the 1962 California Governor's race.

Nixon is also supposed to have beaten his wife after resigning the presidency. According to sources, she had to be taken to hospital.

The book also alleges that Nixon abused prescription drugs.

These sensational allegations were corroborated by John Sears, a longtime aide of Nixon. Said Sears:
The family lawyer told me that Nixon had hit her in 1962 and that she had threatened to leave him over it ... I'm not talking about a smack. He blackened her eye... I had heard about that from Pat Hillings (a longtime Nixon friend and associate) as well..
Whether true or false, such claims cannot be considered libel, since Pat and Richard Nixon are both dead.

According to Nixon's still-living daughter, Patricia Nixon Cox: "Because I lived at home with them and my sister, I can state unconditionally that at no time during 1962 or ever did my father ever strike my mother or did my mother ever have physical signs or bruises of the type claimed in this book." She also said that "these claims are based on statements attributed to two persons no longer alive, by a man [retired Washington lawyer John Sears] who did not meet either of my parents until years after 1962."

In other words, this claim -- while certainly believable about a man of Richard Nixon's character -- is just plain unsupported. The most reliable source of evidence says it just didn't happen, and the only sources saying it did are guilty of hearsay.

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