Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe's 45th birthday gift to former American President John F Kennedy is on sale for $4.68 million (GBP2.6 million).

The Some Like It Hot actress gave the ROLEX watch to JFK in 1962 - the same year as her death - and it's now being sold by New York firm MOMENTS IN TIME as a "truly astounding relic of extraordinary historical significance".

The gift was a symbol of Monroe's love for the president - inscribed with the words "Jack, with love as always, from Marilyn" - but JFK was keen to distance himself from the icon and handed the watch to an aide with orders to destroy it.

The letter supporting the gift reads, "This watch was given to my late father in 1962 by President Kennedy in person with the instruction 'get rid of it'."

A spokesperson for Moments In Time says, "Marilyn was at an extremely delicate psychological point in he life and fantasised that JFK would leave JACKIE and marry her.

"When he received the watch, he was appalled."

24/06/2004 13:48