Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s estranged wife Mary Kennedy reportedly hanged herself in a barn at her New York home, fearing financial ruin following her divorce from Robert, whom she was still legally married to. She was also distraught over his new relationship with actress Cheryl Hines. So sad.
Mary Kennedy felt “lost” and “alone” before her death on May 16, a neighbor told the New York Daily News. The 52-year-old mother of four also struggled with her estranged husband’s relationship with actress Cheryl Hines.
An autopsy revealed today, May 17, that Mary died of asphyxiation due to hanging, CNN reports.
A close family friend told the New York Post that Mary felt “used up and tossed away,” by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. after he filed for divorce in May 2010 after 16 years of marriage. Mary was charged with DUI three days later and her license was suspended.
“She was deeply troubled, abusing alcohol and prescription meds,” the family friend said. “She had cause. She was used up and tossed away by Bobby. That was awful.”
But members of the Kennedy family, including her mother-in-law Ethel Kennedy, rallied around Mary after her DUI arrest. Ethel even sent a handwritten letter to a town justice, seeking leniency for Mary and calling her a “kind, loving and generous person,” the New York Post reports.
Mary was found dead at her Mount Kisco estate in Westchester County, New York on May 16. She was in a very dark place before her death, and fought an ongoing battle with drugs and alcohol. She tried to seek help on many occasions.
Mary had gone into rehab in February 2010, friends told the New York Daily News. A neighbor said Mary seemed “lost and alone and sort of out of it” whenever she came into the village.
Cops confirmed that they were called to Mary’s estate several times in the previous years. A close friend of hers attributes her struggles to the strain of her marriage, saying Mary “did not have it easy, being Bobby’s wife.”
The friend reveals that the first time she met Mary and Robert, 58, at a dinner 10 years ago, he put his hand on her thigh under the table when she was seated next to him.
“We hadn’t spoken but to say hello,” the friend told the New York Post. “He is such a dog that way.”
The friend, who wanted to remain anonymous, revealed that the problems Mary faced in her marriage were similar to the ones faced by other women who married into the Kennedy family.
“Like all Kennedy wives, she was expected to toe the line. Stay quiet and take care of the kids, tolerate the affairs, and look happy. She took solace in yoga and meditation,” the friend said, adding that his alleged affairs took a terrible toll.
“He got all the glory, and she got no acknowledgment for what she did: holding it all together at home,” the source said.
Mary even took over caring for the two children from Robert’s first marriage, plus raised four of their own.
“She was a good mother,” the friend said. “Like so many parents of the Kennedy kids, she was dealing with a wild bunch. The kids were always getting into scrapes and Mary was forever rescuing them.”
Robert was living in Los Angeles and dating Cheryl at the time of his estranged wife’s death. He was distraught when entering Mary’s mansion around 8 p.m. on May 16, according to reports.
In a statement issued by Robert’s chief of staff, the family described Mary Kennedy as “a genius at friendship.”
“Mary inspired our family with her kindness, her love, her gentle soul and generous spirit,” the family said in a statement.
A housekeeper found Mary’s body in a barn at her estate, according to reports. None of their children, ages 11 to 17, were home at the time. The oldest were away at boarding school, and the youngest were with their father.
“We deeply regret the death of our beloved sister Mary, whose radiant and creative spirit will be sorely missed by those who loved her. Our heart goes out to her children who she loved without reservation,” Mary’s family said in a statement.
Our hearts go out to Mary’s family, especially her children, during this difficult time.
— Kaydi Poirier