Yeah, it was probably nothing…
It’s a gorgeous spring morning, and Sally Quinn—the hotshot journalist turned wife of legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee turned gatekeeper of Washington society turned religion columnist and about-to-turn evangelist for mysticism, magic, and the divine—is tucked into a wicker settee behind her Georgetown mansion, awaiting the arrival of an ABC News crew. (…)
People are forever asking the 76-year-old Quinn to revisit chapters from her and Ben’s lives. His friendship with the Kennedys. The Pentagon Papers. Taking down the President. (…)
It’s a spiritual memoir, called Finding Magic, that charts her path from “angry atheist” to—well, Quinn’s spiritual classification is a bit hard to define, even for her. A sort of Eat Pray Love for the This Town set, the memoir offers an intimate, at times painful look inside her exceedingly public life. There’s less glamour and cutthroat ambition, more vulnerability and personal anguish. She outs herself as a believer in the occult and as an erstwhile practitioner of voodoo, and she packs the book with moments that have made anxious friends wonder: Are you sure you want to share that? (…)
Quinn has consulted psychics for years and, until recently, would conduct readings herself for family and friends. “When I first met Sally and Ben, it was right after Watergate,” recalls ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz, who was once married to Quinn’s stepson Ben Bradlee Jr. “She took out the tarot cards, and I was like, ‘What the heck is she talking about?’” (…
Some friends have voiced reservations that Quinn is now showing all her cards, so to speak. “Don’t play up the voodoo too much,” one implored. But Sally does nothing by halves. She reveals that, in her less mellow days, she put hexes on three people who promptly wound up having their lives ruined, or ended.
The first, cast in 1969, was spurred by old-fashioned jealousy. Some exotic beauty at a Halloween party inspired lust in Quinn’s beau at the time—and then killed herself just days after Sally cast her spell.
RELATED: The Coming Age of Magic, by Richard Fernandez