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Friday, May 18, 2012

Mary Richardson Kennedy's suicide

Another tragic blow struck the Kennedy family this week.  Mary Richardson Kennedy 52, an architect, environmentalist and philanthropist hanged herself at her home on Wednesday.  Her husband, Robert Kennedy Junior, son of Robert F Kennedy who was assassinated in 1968, filed for divorce in 2010, a blow from which she never recovered.

After the separation, Mary was arrested twice, once for DUI and later for driving under the influence of prescription drugs which the judge threw out and dismissed.  The divorce was still pending at the time of her death and was headed for trial later this year.  They were married in 1994 and had four children together who are all under the age of 18.

Robert F Kennedy Jnr said yesterday that his estranged wife had struggled with depression for many years.  "A lot of times, I don't know how she made it through the day" he said.  "She was in a lot of agony for a lot of her life."

But a personal friend of Mary's who refused to be named said "Mary said she was facing financial ruin with American Express coming after her for an outstanding debt along with several other creditors.  In addition, she was concerned that Robert was about to substantially reduce the amount of financial support he gave her and she was terrified she would have to file for bankruptcy and lose her home."

But surely the cruelest blow must have been when Bobby began telling friends that he had taken custody of the children.  When news of her tragic death was released, her eldest children were away at boarding school and the youngest were living with their father.

Since the split, Mary would have heard about her husband's latest lovers and that he is currently dating Cheryl Hines.  In recent months, family and friends were worried that Mary was becoming more "fragile" but they had no idea just how hopeless she believed her life had become.

Mr Kennedy divorced his first wife in the Dominican Republic a month before his second marriage to Mary, who gave birth to their first child three months later.

Mary Richardson Kennedy was devoted to her children and when her son developed terrible food allergies, she co-founded the Food Allergy Initiative, billed as the world's largest private source of funding for food allergy research.