Robert F Kennedy accused his deceased wife Mary of being physically abusive, harassing him, and being emotionally abusive to his children.
Kennedy revealed these details about his relationship with his estranged wife as part of legal filings which were revealed on Sunday, reports the Associated Press .
Mary Richardson Kennedy committed suicide last month at the family’s home in Bedford, New York. Her husband had filed for divorce two years before her death but the case was still pending.
The couple married in 1994 and had four children together. The legal documents, part of an indepth report by Kennedy historian Laurence Leamer, illustrated the years of their difficult relationship.
Kennedy had two young children from his previous marriage to Emily Ruth Black. He said “Mary began to be abusive toward both my children and particularly hateful toward" his daughter.
Kennedy told officials that his wife would steal items from his daughter so she could chastise her. He explained that in around 1997, when his daughter was nine, she would continually lose things like her wallet and plane tickets. He told the courts this would regularly happen on the way to the airport after the children had spent the weekend.
He described his tear-eyed daughter looking at him and saying “No, Daddy, Mary hates me.”
Weeks later he found the item hidden among his wife’s clothes.
He also lists other behaviour by Mary including physical attack on him, stealing, going to his house and following him on trips, when she was not invited.
The in depth story printed in this week’s Newsweek details the affidavit and the attacks. In the documents Kennedy said “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.”
He said her physical abuse frequently reduced him to tears.
In 2011, he said, she ran over the family dog, Portia. This was shortly after the couple separated. She convinced Robert to come to the family house and comfort their children.
When he arrived a drunk Mary attacked him. He said “She […] hit me with a roundhouse punch that, had I not blocked it, would have undoubtedly broken my face. Pointing to Aidan (their youngest son), she screamed, ‘You told this child you didn’t love me?’ and hit me again, raining blows down on me as I backed down the hall.
“She struck me maybe 30 more times or more.”
In the affidavit he also asks that she remain sober in front of their children and refrained from talking about their marriage or threatening suicide in front of their children.
Kennedy said that after the married her behaviour toward him and his two children changed. He said after three years of marriage when he became aware of her actions towards his children he attempted divorce.
He said he needed the court to grant his protective order and make Mary sign a custody agreement “for the sake of my children and for my own safety and sanity.”
After the couple split her internal problems became more public including two DUI arrests.
It was after the couple split that Mary Kennedy's internal struggles became public, including two arrests on charges of driving while intoxicated.
Here’s the Daily Beast’s team discussing Mary Kennedy’s death and its aftermath: