NEW YORK — Robert F. Kennedy Jr. accused his estranged wife, Mary, of abusing his children from an earlier marriage, including stealing items from his young daughter, showing up uninvited on trips he took after they separated and sometimes calling him dozens of times a day, according to a legal filing revealed Sunday.
Mary Kennedy killed herself last month at the family's estate in Bedford, N.Y. Robert Kennedy filed for divorce two years ago, and the case was pending when she died. The couple married in 1994 and had four children together.
Portions of a confidential affidavit filed in 2011 in the divorce case were posted online by The Daily Beast ( ) as part of a cover story in Newsweek magazine on newsstands Monday about Mary Kennedy that was written by Kennedy family biographer Laurence Leamer. A spokesman for the site declined to comment on how the affidavit was obtained. http://bit.ly/LCcOY4
Its contents convey years of strain in the Kennedys' relationship. Among them, Kennedy recounted instances around 1997 of taking his daughter from his first marriage, then 9, to the airport at the end of weekend visits. She'd continually lose things like her wallet or plane ticket, and he chided her for it. He said his teary-eyed daughter told him that his second wife was taking the items and when he tried to convince her otherwise, "She looked me in the eye and said, `No, Daddy, Mary hates me.'"
He said he found the items weeks later, hidden in a drawer under his wife's clothes.
Calls to divorce lawyers for both Kennedys were not immediately returned Sunday.
In the filing, Robert Kennedy also asked the court to stop Mary from a list of behaviors, including physical attacks on him, stealing his possessions, going to his house, and following him on trips she was not invited on.
He also asked that she be required to remain sober in front of their children, and stopped from talking about their marriage to the children, or threatening suicide in front of them.
In the affidavit, Kennedy described knowing Mary since 1975, after she became best friends as a teenager with his sister Kerry. He described her as "kind, generous" and "stunningly beautiful." He said he "fell deeply in love with her," and that she had a good relationship with his first two children before the couple married but changed afterward.
"Mary began to be abusive toward both my children and particularly hateful toward" his daughter, he said.
Kennedy said he didn't initially know of the treatment, but three years after they married it triggered his first attempt at divorce.
Kennedy said he needed the court to grant his protective order and make Mary Kennedy sign a child custody agreement "for the sake of my children and for my own safety and sanity."
It was after the couple split that Mary Kennedy's internal struggles became public, including two arrests on charges of driving while intoxicated.
"She struggled so hard, for so long, with mental illness, which so many Americans suffer with," Kerry Kennedy said after her death. "She fought with dignity, and in the end, the demons won."
The domestic turmoil extended into preparations for her funeral. One of Mary's brothers went to court in an attempt to get custody of her body, while the Kennedys planned to bury her near the family's seaside compound in Hyannisport, Mass.
Patricia Kennedy, President John F. Kennedy's sister, married British actor Peter Lawford in 1954, after having dated him for less than a year. They had four children before they divorced in 1966. They separated after her brother JFK's assassination in November 1963. Lawford reportedly struggled with his wife's steadfast Catholicism and her family's stature, and Kennedy became fed up with Lawford's drinking and extramarital affairs.
Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy
Former Massachusets Senator Ted Kennedy married Joan Bennett Kennedy in 1958. They had three children (Kara, Ted Jr., and Patrick) before they divorced in 1982. Scandal plagued the marriage and Kennedy's presidential prospects; In July 1969, he accidentally killed 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, whom he left a party with, when he drove off a bridge on Chippaquiddick Island. Though he denied having inappropriate relations with Kopechne, he and Joan separated in 1977 and divorced in 1981. He remarried Victoria Anne Reggie, a divorced mother of two, in 1992, and remained with her until his death in August 2009.
Joseph Kennedy II
Politician and businessman Joseph Kennedy II married Sheila Brewster Rauch in 1979. They had twin sons, Matthew and Joseph Patrick II, before they divorced in 1991. Two years later, Kennedy asked the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston for an annulment of the marriage, which would allow him to remarry in a Roman Catholic ceremony and participate in other sacraments of the church. Rauch refused to agree to the annulment, and Kennedy remarried Anne Elizabeth "Beth" Elizabeth in a non-Catholic ceremony in 1993. The Boston Archdiocese eventually granted the annulment, prompting Rauch to write a book, "Shattered Faith: A Woman's Struggle to Stop the Catholic Church from Annulling Her Marriage", about why she was opposed to it. She appealed to the Vatican and the <a href="http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1634956,00.html" target="_hplink">annulment was overturned</a> in 2007.
Courtney Kennedy, the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy, married TV executive Jeffrey Ruhe in 1980; they divorced in 1990. Three years later, she married Paul Michael Hill (above), an Irishman who was wrongly convicted of and imprisoned for two Irish Republic Army (IRA) bombings in London. They had one child, Saoirse Roisin Hill, before they separated in February 2006.
Michael Kennedy, Courtney Kennedy's brother, married Victoria Gifford in in 1981. They had three children, and lived in Massachusets where Kennedy helped organize his uncle Ted Kennedy's re-election campaign against Mitt Romney in 1994.<a href="http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20122066,00.html" target="_hplink"> Scandal broke</a> in 1997, when it was revealed that Michael Kennedy was having a five-year affair with the family's former babysitter--the 19-year-old daughter of a close family friend. Shortly after the news was publicized, Kennedy and his wife separated. He was killed in a ski accident in December 1997.
Robert Kennedy Jr.
Attorney Robert Kennedy Jr. married Elizabeth Ruth Black in 1982; they had two children (Robert Kennedy III and Kathleen Kennedy) before they divorced in March 1994. Three weeks after his divorce was finalized, he married Mary Richardson, with whom he had four children: John Conor Richardson Kennedy, Kyra LeMoyne , William Finbar, and Aidan Coahman Vieques. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/13/kennedy-divorce-robert-f-_n_645314.html" target="_hplink">Kennedy filed for divorce</a> in July 2010, three days before Mary was charged with drunken driving.
Mary Kerry Kennedy
Human rights activist Mary Kerry Kennedy married Andrew Cuomo, the current governor of New York, in 1991. They had three daughters (Cara Ethel Kennedy Cuomo, Mariah Matilda Kennedy Cuomo, and Michaela Andrea Kennedy Cuomo) before they divorced 2005 amidst rumors of Kennedy's infidelity. Kennedy was reportedly <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-07-06-cuomo-tabloids_x.htm" target="_hplink">having an affair </a>with restaurateur Bruce Colley, a friend of the Cuomos. After releasing a joint statement announcing the end to their 13-year-marriage, Cuomo's lawyer released another statement saying he was "betrayed and saddened by his wife's conduct."