Robert F. Kennedy Jrand late wife Mary Richardson Kennedyasked Sen. Al Franken to help them receive free home renovations to their seven bedroom home in Bedford, NY, reports the New York Post.
While remaking their mold-infested 1920s house, the couple were to receive energy-efficient windows by a local distributor for Marvin Windows and Doors, a Minnesota company, at a discount of more than $100,000.
However, according to Robin Wilson, the interior designer who worked on the Kennedy's house, the discount wasn't good enough. The couple wanted the windows for free.
Richardson called Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, to ask him to push the company to donate the windows to them.
“Mary reached out to many people and corporations, including Al Franken,” said Wilson.
Franken's spokesman denied the claim, saying the senator “was never asked by Mary Richardson Kennedy for help with renovations.”
The Kennedys apparently raked in more than $1.3 million in free products and discounts on the remodeling of the home with the promise to the builder and other contractors that they would receive publicity and credit on a Bob Vila TV show for NBC. The show never aired.
Last month, RFK Jr put the house on the market for $3.9 million, five months after his estranged wife committed suicide on the property.
Wilson said it was a part of her job to get products and services for “free or as free as possible” during the renovation, which stretched from 2008 to 2010.
“Robin Wilson kept saying, ‘If you don’t thoroughly donate the windows to us then we are going to completely omit the fact that you were even a part of this project,’” said a source familiar with the project.
Despite the hard sell, the window distributor refused to give in and the Kennedys paid $230,000 for the windows, which retailed for $350,000.
The company got no credit for its work in Wilson’s book “Kennedy Green House” or on its Web site.
“This was purely a scenario of someone just trying to take advantage of their status, and it was almost to the point of grotesque,” the source said. “There was a complete abuse of power.”
Wilson said Mary Richardson Kennedy fired her just as the project was ending and paid only a part of her final bill.
RFK Jr. had no comment for the Post.