Mary Kennedy Abused Husband, Ran Over Family Dog, Affidavits State

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By Sami K. Martin , Christian Post Reporter
June 11, 2012|9:27 am

Mary Kennedy's last days were filled with depression and despair, a new report by Kennedy historian Laurence Leamer says. In a new article published in "Newsweek," Leamer claims that Kennedy was abusive to her husband and purposely ran over the family's dog.

  • Mary Kennedy
    (Photo: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
    Robert Kennedy Jr., his wife Mary and their children arrive to attend a Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights gala in New York November 19, 2008.

Mary Kennedy hung herself at the family's estate just last month to the shock of many. Now new details are emerging that show how disturbed she was.

"Mary's violence and physical abuse toward me began before we were married," her ex-husband Robert Kennedy Jr. said in a court affidavit in 2011.

"Soon after Mary became pregnant with our first son, Mary, in a sudden rage about my continued friendship with [my ex-wife] Emily, 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," Robert stated.

The couple filed for divorce in September 2011, and the divorce documents were sealed. But Leamer was able to open the documents, revealing a disturbing history of mental illness and violent tendencies. Although Mary's version of the events is unknown, there were at least several instances in which her actions called for some type of help.

"On May 26, 2011, Mary ran over and killed the dog, Porcia, in the driveway," Robert stated. "She had Aidan [the couple's youngest son] call to tell me. He was disconsolate and crying. I asked to speak to Mom and Mary came on the phone. She said I should come over and spend the night in my old room with the kids who were distraught," the documents state.

At this time, Robert and Mary were separated and had been for some time. Mary "said she intended to kill herself unless I called off the divorce and unless I promised to recommit to the marriage. She promised that if I came over, she would stay in her room and wouldn't see me or harass me."

When Robert did agree to spend the night at the house, Mary again became violent and even hit him in front of the children. A few months later, Robert recounted, there was a noticeable change in her demeanor.

"She would go into a kind of altered state which we came to call her 'episodes.' Her features would change with her jaw set forward, her face paled, her eyes notably darkened, her voice alternatively breathy or hard. Mary's mood vacillated between rage and self-pity. Her behavior often became violent and destructive," Robert explained.

In 2006, Robert spoke to Mary's psychotherapist who informed him, "You are married to a woman who has borderline personality disorder. It's important that you read these books," Dr. Sheenah Hankin stated. After learning more about the disorder, Robert agreed with the assessment and decided to separate.

"The kids were all witnessing a lot of this stuff," said social worker John Hoving. "Horror. Just horror. And I loved Mary- I want that to be known. I adored her; I just didn't adore what borderline personality disorder did to her."

Her suicide on May 16 has led to speculation about her relationship with Robert, who recently began dating actress Cheryl Hines. At the time, Robert told friends that Mary suffered from "demons. There's nobody who bore what she bore. She was in agony for five years."

Yet Mary's family and friends have stated that she "did not have a history of depression. She became a troubled person because of the divorce, which sent her down the hole. There was great pressure on her to conceivably agree to a situation where she wouldn't be able to see them for some period of time. She couldn't take it," one friend told People magazine.

"In the end, I think she died of a broken heart," the friend explained.

 

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