Robert Kennedy Jr battered his estranged wife Mary Richardson Kennedy with a series of restraining orders right up until the moment she committed suicide, depressed, in debt and fearful of losing her children in a custody battle.
Kennedy was relentless in filing legal claims against his wife of 16-years. Finally she ended it all by hanging herself Wednesday (May 15) in a barn on the couple’s secluded estate outside New York City.
“A lot of times I don’t know how she made it through the day. She was in a lot of agony for a lot of her life,” Kennedy acknowledged to The New York Times.
Among the allegations contained in court records, Kennedy, 58, said his estranged wife was an unfit mother. The move was part of a bid to gain custody of their four children, Conor, Finny, Kyra and Aidan, who range in age from 11 to 17.
“He was kicking her while she’s down, all alone in this house that she built. In the end, everything was just too much,” a friend of Mary’s told The New York Post.
Her family is reportedly so bitter over the way that Kennedy treated her they are refusing to attend the same memorial service. The family is planning a separate service.
Mary was attempting to put her life back together. She had been sober for five months and was trying to deal with her depression, said sister-in-law Kerry Kennedy, who had been friends with her for more than 30 years.
Mary was in Kerry Kennedy’s wedding when Robert met her. Kennedy married Emily Ruth Black in 1982 and had two children: Robert Francis Kennedy III and Kathleen Alexandra Kennedy. They divorced in March 1994, and one month later he married Richardson, who was six months pregnant.
Kennedy, who left Richardson in 2010, apparently failed to provide enough support for her and the children in an apparent attempt to squeeze her into submission on child custody. He filed temporary restraining orders on March 28 and April 19 The third was filed Friday (May 11), five days before she hanged herself.
He filed an order of protection and got another judge to hold her in contempt of court last September, according to The Post. He was ruthless in his legal campaign and had the ear of local judges. The Kennedy family also cut off Mary after the divorce.
“She faced losing her kids, and his relationship with Cheryl Hines was humiliating,” a Richardson friend said.
“She loved him. Her family and her home [were] her heart and soul. Even after they separated, she was pretending everything was fine. She’d still call him her husband. It was bizarre and sad.”