Saturday, July 20, 2024

Exclusive: Blondie’s Chris Stein Says Robert Kennedy Jr. Hit on His Wife at Charity Event


Back in 2009, Robert Kennedy Jr. was still involved with the Riverkeeper Foundation. He was married then to his second wife, Mary Richardson, with four children.

Chris Stein, the founder with Debbie Harry of the legendary new wave group Blondie, remembers Kennedy well. He and Blondie entertained the crowd of wealthy patrons at a Riverkeeper event in 2009, playing hits like “Heart of Glass” and “One Way or Another.”

Stein tells me that it was this event that Kennedy hit on his wife.

“She got in line to meet him,” Stein says of wife, Barbara Sicuranza. (They have now been married 25 years.) “When she came she said, He shook my hands for too long. It was creepy.” That wasn’t all. It was clear to Barbara what was going on. “She said, He tickled the inside of my palm with his middle finger. She was really appalled.”

I had asked Stein, a rock and roll hero, about a Tweet he posted on June 17th. He’d written: “This jackoff made a pass at my wife at a River Keeper event in NYC. True story.”

The pass made no difference to the Steins, who shrugged it off and moved on. Kennedy and Richardson separated in 2010. She committed suicide by hanging herself in their barn in 2012.

Subsequent to all, the NY Post published Kennedy’s sex diary that listed all his affairs during the marriage.

As for Stein, he’s just published a beautifully crafted memoir called “Under a Rock.” Stein wrote it himself, and I’d say it’s up there with literary rock recollections like Sting’s “Broken Music” and Patti Smith’s “Just Kids.”

Stein writes about his upbringing in Brooklyn, his early days of rock from 1965 to 1971 or so, and then how everything changed as classic rock became bland by the mid 70s. He was present for the birth of punk. Stein’s stories about the Ramones, Talking Heads, Johnny Thunders, and son are so detailed and personal it’s hard to put the book down!

I also love the fact that he met actor Tony Sirico aka Paulie Walnuts from “The Sopranos” when he was a young gangster.

PS The story about Kennedy is not in the book. It’s just here in this column.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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