Richardson worked for years to prevent the divorce from going through.
When Richardson refused the divorce in 2006, Bobby reportedly told her, “You won’t divorce me, but we are not married. I’m going to see other women.” An insider said, “Not the best way to be helpful, but he was miserable at home. Bobby’s complicated, got his own issues; I’m not sure he had the emotional skills to deal with it another way.”
On May 12, 2010, Kennedy officially filed for divorce, and just three days later, Mary Richardson jumped a curb at a school carnival, picking up a DWI (ultimately downgraded to a motor vehicle violation). She had returned to alcohol in her time of pain.
Kennedy eventually wound up with actress Cheryl Hines, quietly at first, and then rather publicly in 2011. He thought that perhaps going public with Hines would force Richardson into acceptance of the situation.
“Mary drank to mask her pain, wipe out her feelings, and sleep,” says a confidante, “not get drunk.” In fact, “until age 48, she never had a problem with alcohol, but in the latter years of her marriage, that changed.”
Others also noted how Mary was never much of a drinker until her final years. However, she had become a full-blown alcoholic and would come to do two stays at the Canyon rehabilitation facility in Malibu. With news of the second stay at Canyon, the courts granted temporary custody to Bobby Kennedy, and even “berated” him for leaving the children in “erractic” Mary’s care for so long.
“Depression and drinking didn’t kill Mary,” laments a friend. “It was having her kids taken away.”
Kerry Kennedy said, “Here’s Mary, teetering, possibly suicidal. If she admits that she is, the court takes her kids away and her therapist has to commit her, calling police if she won’t go voluntarily. So she was stuck. If she saved herself, she risked losing her children—her greatest fear.”
“When Mary lost Bobby and then her kids,” says a close friend about Richardson’s possible motive, “… she got scared. If she wasn’t the perfect wife and mother that she projected herself to be, then what was she?”
It would appear, then, that a tragic combination of a long battle with mental demons and unfortunate circumstances seem to have marked Mary Richardson Kennedy’s end. Many say that Bobby is still heartbroken at the loss of his one-time wife and mother of his children.