It’s not bad enough that Mary Richardson Kennedy, wife of Robert Kennedy Jr.. committed suicide. Now we have Laurence Leamer in Newsweek and the Daily Beast making sure we know she was crazy, unstable, a heavy drinker who killed the family dog, resented her husband’s affairs and past relationships, and didn’t deserve to live. Leamer’s article is just beyond the pale. I met Mary Kennedy a couple of times. I didn’t know her. She was always pleasant. She didn’t seem like someone with ‘borderline personality disorder,” which is what Leamer emphasizes. A friend of mine actually shared a train to Machu Picchu a couple of years ago with the Kennedy clan including Mary–reporting that the kids were boisterous and Mary was friendly.
Leamer concedes that Robert Kennedy Jr. had many affairs. Of public knowledge–but not reported there– was a long one he had with a TV actress, not Cheryl Hines, that went on and on in front of Mary Kennedy. Now Leamer has come up with sealed documents–you can only imagine how he got access to them–designed to destroy completely Mary Richardson Kennedy’s life and legacy. The whole thing is vaguely reminiscent of the trashing Carolyn Bessette got in the press after she died with husband John Kennedy Jr. Suddenly she was a heavy drug user. This was disputed by her friends, but the taint remains.
Today Richardson’s family issued a statement:
“Mary’s unconditional love for her children and unwavering support of so many people she held close to her heart are the lasting legacies of her life. Our hearts are breaking for what her children continue to witness. We hoped Mary could rest in peace.
“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 affidavit, which Mary repudiated at the time, is full of vindictive lies. 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.
“Right now, our primary concern is for Mary’s children. There will be a time and a place for the true facts to come out.”