An ugly court fight between the Kennedy family and the Richardson clan over possession of the body of Robert Kennedy Jr’s wife was resolved in favor of the Kennedys on Friday night.
Mary Richardson Kennedy committed suicide by hanging herself in the couple’s Mount Kisco home after bitter divorce proceedings and a severe bout of depression.
Kennedy as next-of-kin wanted her waked in a nearby Kennedy residence and then buried in the Kennedy family plot in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
The Richardson family tried to block Kennedy taking possession of the body by means of a court order. An eleventh hour verdict from a Westchester County judge found in favor of Bobby Kennedy, who then took his wife’s remains and held a wake in the house where she died.
The legal battle was waged all day as Mary Kennedy’s body was in the possesion of the coroner after a post mortem that showed she died from hanging.
“The body has now been picked up,” Donna Greene, a spokeswoman for Westchester County, stated just before the wake, according to the NY Daily News.
“The medical examiner had completed the autopsy yesterday, but a court proceeding was brought by the brother of Mary Richardson as to who would have possession of the body and where the body would go.”
Tom Richardson, her brother, was outraged at the way she had been treated in the divorce by Bobby and asked the judge to not grant custody to the Kennedy clan.
The Richardson family believe that she was driven to her death by Kennedy’s hardball tactics and repeated use of court maneuveres to win sole custody of their four children.
Richardson family members were still vowing to hold their own family service at the weekend and not attend the Kennedy one.