BEDFORD, N.Y. — The saga of Mary Richardson Kennedy’s suicide is far from over.
Kennedy historian Laurence Leamer has written an exclusive report for Newsweek magazine detailing Mary's long psychological decline, which the magazine posted Sunday on its online outlet, The Daily Beast.
Leamer’s Newsweek article includes an account of Mary’s behavior from the couple's longtime housekeeper, whom Leamer interviewed along with friends of the couple and medical professionals who treated her.
Leamer's Newsweek article also includes details from a sealed 60-page affidavit estranged husband Robert F. Kennedy Jr. filed with Westchester Supreme Court on Sept. 16, 2011, during divorce proceedings, a document that he submitted in support of a request for an order of protection against her. Robert Kennedy had filed a first matrimonial action against her on May 12, 2010.
According to Leamer’s review of the sworn affidavit, Robert Kennedy claims that Mary drank heavily and was verbally and physically abusive to him and his children from his first marriage, in particular Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy, now 23 years old.
The affidavit states that Mary had been physically abusive since before the two were married, writes Leamer. Soon after Mary got pregnant with their first son, Conor, she became violent in a sudden rage regarding RFK Jr.’s continued friendship with his ex-wife Emily, the affidavit states.
“[Mary] hit me in the face with her fist. She was a trained boxer and I got a shiner. Her engagement ring crushed my tear duct causing permanent damage ... Mary asked me to lie to her family about the cause of my shiner,” the affidavit states.
According to Leamer, Kennedy's affidavit also states that Mary had periodically threatened suicide at different times throughout the marriage.
By last June, according to Leamer’s story for Newsweek, Robert believed Mary might actually commit suicide due to her depression and urged the Richardson family to stage an intervention, an idea that, according to Leamer, the family rebuffed.
According to Leamer’s article, the housekeeper said in an interview that, in the weeks before she committed suicide, Mary searched the internet for instructions on how to make a noose and asked the housekeeper's husband to buy a rope, which Mary told him she needed for a sofa she was making.
After a session with her psychiatrist on May 10, Leamer writes, Mary feared that he would recommend that Robert be given full custody of their four children.
On May 16, she was found hanged by the neck in a barn on her Bedford property.
According to a report by the New York Daily News, the Richardson family has issued a statement repudiating the content of the affidavit.