Entries in Mary Richardson Kennedy (6)


Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in Nasty Family Feud with In-Laws

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s former in-laws angrily denied allegations Monday that she was mentally ill and would beat her husband in the years before she hanged herself in an abandoned barn at her upstate New York compound last month.

Kennedy, according to court papers obtained by Newsweek, accused his wife Mary Richardson Kennedy of pummeling his face, resulting in a black eye and a permanently damaged tear duct, killing the family dog, stealing from Kennedy's daughter from a previous marriage, and threatening suicide and blackmail.

The charges were included in explosive and confidential court documents dating from their 2010 divorce.

Richardson's siblings, who fought Kennedy in the days after her suicide for custody of her body, called the allegations "vindictive lies" told in the heat of ugly divorce proceedings.

"The scurrilous affidavit, which is the entire basis for the Newsweek article, was written by Bobby Kennedy as part of a contentious custody battle and was nothing more than a brutal psychological weapon in the divorce case," the Richardson family said in a statement released Monday by their lawyer.

"This latest piling on is proof perfect of the unbelievable emotional and psychological abuse that Mary endured during the last years of her life, and now in death. The false claim that Mary suffered from BPD [borderline personality disorder] is also an insult to those who do struggle with this serious mental illness."

In a bombshell document obtained by Newsweek, Kennedy accuses Mary of physically abusing him for years and says he told her family that a psychologist had diagnosed her with BPD.

"Mary's violence and physical abuse toward me began before we were married," Kennedy said the affidavit.

Kennedy said Mary went into a "sudden rage" and "hit me in the face with her fist," after she learned he maintained a friendship with his ex-wife.

"She was a trained boxer," he said. "Her engagement ring crushed my tear duct causing permanent damage. Mary asked me to lie to her family about the source of my shiner."

In sworn testimony, Kennedy said, Mary threatened to blackmail him, saying "she intended to kill herself unless I called off the divorce and unless I promised to recommit to the marriage."

Despite years of allegedly being abused by Mary, "she repeatedly says that she will call the police and say I beat her if I threaten to leave her," he said.

In addition to the abuse mentioned in the affidavit, the Newsweek article quotes Richardson's housekeeper who discovered her hanged body and said she was prone to drinking and bouts of depression.

"I saw her in the kitchen," the unnamed housekeeper told the magazine, "with her head down and I was like, 'Oh golly she's talking on the phone and crying,'" said the woman who worked for the couple since 1994.

"But then I got close to her and she was passed out. The plate of food was old and her face was on top of the plate. And that day she was drinking a lot," she said.

Kennedy also accused Richardson of continuing the abuse even after he moved out of the family's Westchester home.

In one incident, Kennedy was called to the compound to console his children after Richardson ran her car over the family pet. When he came home, he said Richardson was extremely intoxicated in her son Aidan's bedroom.

"I opened the door and she leapt out of bed and hit me with a roundhouse punch that, had I not blocked it, would have undoubtedly broken my face… She screamed at Aidan as she hit me, [and called me] a demon."

Kennedy also accused Richardson of stealing things from his daughter, discovering a collection of lost items hidden under Mary's clothes.

In the affidavit Kennedy requests full custody of the children, alleging that Richardson was mentally ill, had stalked him on vacation and stolen his passport, cell phones and prescription pills.

Calls and emails to Kennedy for comment were not immediately returned.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mary Kennedy's Body Released Amid Family Feud  

Mary Richardson Kennedy and her son, Conor Kennedy, in 2009. Jason Kempin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The body of Robert Kennedy Jr.'s wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy, was released by authorities to a funeral home Friday amid a family struggle over burial rights.

The body was released after her estranged husband got a court order directing the Westchester County medical examiner turn over the body to the Clark Associates Funeral Home. Clark Associates has been preparing for a funeral at Kennedy's request.

The Medical Examiner's office had refused to release Kennedy's body to Clark Associates because Mary Kennedy's siblings and her estranged husband's family were fighting over where she would be buried, multiple sources told ABC News.

Clark Associates expects a private wake either Friday night or Saturday morning at one of the family's homes, and then a funeral at 10 a.m. Saturday. The location was not disclosed.

The Kennedys planned to bury her near the Kennedy family's compound in Hyannisport, Mass., on Cape Cod.

Mary Kennedy, 52, died Wednesday of asphyxiation from hanging at her home in Westchester County, N.Y., according to the medical examiner. Kennedy and her husband, Robert Kennedy, Jr., had been separated since 2010 but were not legally divorced.

Mary Kennedy's brothers and sister, however, are planning a sunset memorial Monday night at the Standard Hotel in Manhattan. Mary Kennedy grew up in New Jersey, where her father was a professor at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken. Her mother lived in Bayonne, N.J., until her death.

"The first task is for Mary's family to take her to her final resting place, with the dignity and love she deserves," her siblings wrote in a statement released today.

None of Mary Kennedy's family returned calls from ABC News for comment on their sister's death. They released the statement to combat what they saw as a mischaracterization of their sister in news reports following her death, they wrote.

"She was generous, thoughtful, with a refined aesthetic, genius organizational abilities, boundless energy, physical stamina, and natural elegance. She laughed a lot. Her enthusiasms were deep. She loved to connect people, with no self-interest, and with great intelligence," the statement read.

Following her death, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., told the New York Times that his estranged wife had been struggling with depression.

"A lot of times I don't know how she made it through the day," Kennedy, Jr., told the newspaper. "She was in a lot of agony for a lot of her life."

The pair had broken up in 2010 and Mary Kennedy faced difficulties with alcohol during the intervening years. She was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence of drugs on two different occasions.

The couple had four children together.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mary Richardson Kennedy's Body at Center of Family Dispute

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- A dispute is brewing between Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and the family of his estranged wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy, over where she will be memorialized and laid to rest.

Mary Kennedy's body was found on Wednesday in an outbuilding on the couple's property in Bedford, N.Y.  She died of asphyxiation by hanging, New York's Westchester County Medical Examiner's office announced Thursday.

The Kennedys were planning to hold a wake for Mary Kennedy on Friday at the family's mansion in Bedford, with funeral services to follow Saturday morning at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Bedford.

Her family, however, wants a private memorial service in Manhattan.

There are also reports that the Kennedys want Mary Kennedy to be buried in Hyannisport, Mass., where the Kennedy family has long resided.

The medical examiner has refused to release Mary Kennedy's body until the dispute is resolved.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Kennedy Curse: A Political Family's Troubled Life

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- The death of Mary Richardson Kennedy is another sad event in the long arc of the Kennedy family's story. The estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. died of an apparent suicide on Wednesday, sources confirmed to ABC News.

RFK Jr. -- Jack Kennedy's nephew, Bobby Kennedy's son -- had four children with his wife. They filed for divorce two years ago.

"We deeply regret the death of our beloved sister Mary, whose radiant and creative spirit will be sorely missed by those who loved her," Mary Richardson Kennedy's family said in a statement. "Our heart goes out to her children who she loved without reservation. We have no further comment at this time."

Along with political fame and power, tragedy has befallen the Kennedy clan for decades.

Ted Kennedy's death from brain cancer, in August 2009, is still fresh in the American memory. He was the last of four brothers -- Joe, Jack, Bobby and Teddy, all of whom served their country. His passing almost three years ago reminded a mourning country of Camelot's crests and troughs -- ascents to the pinnacle of American glory, assassinations, plane and car accidents, legislative accomplishments and obstacles, and family troubles.

They began well before the brothers' ascent to political power. Joseph Kennedy Sr. famously approved a lobotomy, then a rarely used procedure, to be performed on his daughter, Rosemary, in 1941. The surgery was thought to help Rosemary's violent moods. But the procedure didn't go as planned, and Rosemary was left mentally damaged. She died in 2005.

Not long after Rosemary's surgery, Joseph Kennedy Jr. was shot down in World War II, in 1944. Then, in 1948, Kennedy's older sister Kathleen died in a plane crash on a trip to France.

A little over 10 years later, Jack Kennedy ran for president. His youthful, vigorous campaign and presidency filled a nation with hope and promise. His assassination in 1963 sent shockwaves through a country that would take years to heal.

Just a year later, in June 1964, Ted Kennedy was in a plane crash that killed one of his aides, Edward Moss, as Kennedy was running for reelection in the Senate.

In 1968 Robert Kennedy brought the Kennedy charm, youth and idealism to a campaign and captured voters' hearts and minds as he sought the Democratic nomination for president. But in June he was assassinated in a Los Angeles hotel after a campaign event.

The following year, the family faced tragedy and public humiliation, when Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, drowning his 28-year-old female passenger, who had worked on RFK's campaign. Kennedy didn't report the accident for almost nine hours and was later charged with a misdemeanor for leaving the scene. He later called his decision "indefensible."

Tragedy did not bypass the next generation. In 1984, David Kennedy, the fourth of Bobby Kennedy's 11 children, died in a drug overdose. Fifteen years later, John Kennedy Jr., affectionately called John-John when he was a young boy and his father was president, died while piloting a small plane; with him was his wife, Carolyn, and his sister-in-law.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mary Richardson Kennedy's Death Attributed to Hanging

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Mary Richardson Kennedy, the wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., died of asphyxiation by hanging, according to New York's Westchester County Medical Examiner's office.

Mary Richardson Kennedy's body was found Wednesday in an outbuilding on the couple's property in Bedford, N.Y. Her death marked the final event in a life that had turned tumultuous of late and adds yet another dark moment to the Kennedy family's history.

Kennedy, 52, had four children with her husband, the son of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, to whom she'd been married for 16 years.

In September 2007, the Westchester Journal News reported that Robert F. Kennedy Jr., worried about his wife's mental state, had tried to drive her to a psychologist's office. She resisted and ran from the car into the road, according to police reports.

The couple filed for divorce in 2010, a day after police arrived at the couple's Bedford home in response to a "domestic incident" during which Mary Kennedy was allegedly intoxicated, according to the Journal News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Estranged Wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy, Dead

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s estranged wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy, has died at age 52, apparently committing suicide by hanging herself, multiple sources told ABC News.

"We deeply regret the death of our beloved sister Mary, whose radiant and creative spirit will be sorely missed by those who loved her," Mary Kennedy's family said in a statement released through her lawyer. "Our heart goes out to her children who she loved without reservation."

Bedford, N.Y., police responded to the Kennedy home in Mount Kisco, N.Y., at 1:36 p.m. Wednesday to investigate a "possible unattended death," according a news release. While police would not identify the person who died, the house is listed under the names of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Mary Kennedy on property reports.

"Responding officers confirm that a deceased individual has been located inside an out building on that property," the statement said. "At this time, the Bedford Police Department is not releasing the identity of that individual until notification to family members has been made."

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The incident is under investigation by the Bedford Police Department with assistance from the Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office.  An autopsy on Mary Kennedy's body will be performed on Thursday.

Mary Kennedy appeared to have hung herself, a family member told ABC News.

Mary Kennedy was Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s second wife and the couple had four children together. The couple was married for 16 years before a divorce filing in 2010.

"Mary inspired our family with her kindness, her love, her gentle soul and generous spirit," Kennedy Jr.'s family said in a prepared statement. "Mary was a genius at friendship, a tremendously gifted architect and a pioneer and relentless advocate of green design who enhanced her cutting edge, energy efficient creations with exquisite taste and style. She applied her talent, energy and passion which were both brilliant and abundant, to advocacy for treatment and finding a cure for food allergies and asthma. She was an instrumental co-founder and driving force of the Food Allergy Initiative to which contributions may be made in her name."

Kennedy Jr. is the son of former Sen. Robert Kennedy and the nephew of President John F. Kennedy.

In 2010, Kennedy Jr. filed for divorce, according to the Journal News in White Plains, N.Y., a day after Bedford police responded to the Kennedy home for a "domestic incident" during which Mary Kennedy allegedly was intoxicated.

Three days later, Mary Kennedy was stopped outside of a school after she steered her Volvo station wagon over a curb, according to the Journal News. She was charged with driving while intoxicated after her blood alcohol level was reported to be 0.11 percent, above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. She pleaded guilty to driving while impaired, the paper reported, and her license was suspended.

The next month, August 2010, she was arrested again for driving under the influence of drugs.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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