Mary Kennedy Found Dead at 52

By Valerie Tejeda 05/17/12

The estranged wife of RFK Jr. had a turbulent history with drugs and alcohol.

Mary Kennedy and RFK Jr. in 2008.
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Robert F Kennedy Jr.’s estranged wife Mary Kennedy, who battled drug and alcohol problems for years, was found dead in her New York home at the age of 52. She married Robert Kennedy Jr., in 1994, and the couple had four children, and divorced in 2010. "Mary was a genius at friendship, a tremendously gifted architect and a pioneer and relentless advocate of green design who enhanced her cutting edge, energy efficient creations with exquisite taste and style," the family said. Back in 2010, her struggle with alcohol and drugs peaked with two DUI arrests that came around the same time her husband filed for divorce. Mary was later charged for driving while intoxicated and her license was suspended. Ethel Kennedy, Mary’s mother-in-law, wrote in a letter after her DUI charge saying that she, “is a caring, nourishing mother who has nursed her four children through lifelong bouts of debilitating allergies.” After later being charged with driving under the influence of drugs, Mary claimed it was because of her medications, and the judge later dismissed that charge in 2011. Signs of troubles began earlier in 2007 when Robert F. Kennedy Jr. drove Mary to a hospital for treatment but she aggressively resisted, "I remember she was acting kind of out of it, kind of crazy," a witness, Rae Kesten, told The Journal News in 2007. "She was running into the street and flailing her arms around. He was trying to restrain her. I didn't know if they were fighting or not, but I was concerned." The cause of death has not been released, but an autopsy report is scheduled for today.

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Entertainment journalist and author Valerie Tejeda spends her days reporting on books, television, and all things pertaining to pop culture, and spends her nights writing novels for teens. Her stories have appeared on a variety of different publications, including but not limited to: VanityFair, MTV, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, She Knows, Latina, The Fix,, Cosmopolitan, and more. You can find Valerie on Linkedin and Twitter.